Cocktails from the Pandemic

Our first rhubarb is ripe.  Soon the garden will produce more than we can possibly use.  
This unique VEGETABLE, is often paired with fruit – as in the unmatched Strawberry-Rhubarb pie – but it has many uses.
As kids we would just dip a piece into a bowl of sugar – crunch, slurp, & shiver. “Dare yah!”
Some other possibilities include rhubarb compote, jam, jelly, juice, stewed, chutney, salad dressing, or relish. Then there’s the leaves in salads and here’s 80 more ideas.
Rhubarb is healthy.  Although not yet proven effective against the dreaded Covid-19, it does contain anthocyanins (which give it its red colour) and proanthocyanidins. 
These antioxidants have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, which help protect you from many health-related issues such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
So enjoy this tasty concoction – it’s almost good for you!

Rhubarb Gimlet
The ubiquitous rhubarb gets a lot of play in spring cocktails.  It is suggested as a mimosa, margarita, rhubarb martini (don’t go there),spritz, or alpenglow (which isn’t half bad). This application is tasty and helps use up the exuberant abundance of the plant.

The Gimlet has its own unique and honourable place in the lexicon of liquor. According to this charming account in Gin Foundry, the Gimlet was promoted and drunk by British officers back in the 19th Century. Citrus juice was a gift from the Gods to sailors, as it prevented them from catching scurvy – a brutal, painful and sometimes deadly disease brought about by vitamin C deficiency.Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette (served 1879 – 1913) is cited by some as the namesake of the Gimlet. Acting as a doctor to sailors, he administered gin with lime in order to mask the bitter taste. Allegedly, he introduced this to his shipmates to help them swallow down the lime juice as an anti-scurvy medication. British sailors, though – unlike their superior Naval officers – had rum rations, and so used to mix this in with their lime. The drink became known as ‘grog,’ and so great was their consumption of this ‘medicine’ that sailors soon became known as “Limeys”.

Rose’s Lime Cordial is still sometimes suggested in the recipe.  After all, it has played a central role in the story of the Gimlet, as it was the accessible and necessary sweet fruit preserve of choice by sailors. The cordial was first produced by Scottish entrepreneur Lauchlan Rose in 1867 and was the world’s first fruit concentrate. 
Even so, we prefer fresh juice whenever we can get it.  

Thanks to all essential workers who keep our supply lines open. 

Patrick (Paddy) Moore

Patrick (Paddy) Moore is the author of the series Quarantinis, Eh? featuring cocktails that commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021.

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