Rhurbarb in cocktails?
Rhubarb compote and the dark rum would make an exotic frozen daiquiri. Serve in a martini glass with a sprig of mint and you may be on to something. I saw rhubarb stalks in a market (FL) today for $4/lb and chuckled. Where I grew up in CT we had a large wild perennial patch of rhubarb, it was free.
Last spring, I tried working with fresh (muddled) rhubarb in cocktails and was not too happy with the results. Used in that manner, it added a level of bitterness, but added little in flavor or color. I had read a bit online about working with rhubarb, and most cocktail recipes called for rhubarb syrup. Rhubarb is low in pectin, so when it is used to make a simple syrup (equal amounts sugar, water, rhubarb - simmered until reduced - and strained,) it will not be too viscous, and the syrup adds the needed sweetness.
I was, however, VERY happy with using rhubarb in infusions, and I plan to do it on a much larger scale this season, and even make a rhubarb liqueur. I recommend you give it a try, since it is such an easy and quick infusion.
To sum up last spring's experiment, I went to the farmer's market and I picked up a few stalks for two bucks. I sliced them up and added them to a pint of gin in a glass lidded jar. Left it on the counter, and when I returned from work, I saw that the rhubarb slices had quickly given up their color. It took just a day to tint the gin a rosy pink, and two days before I thought it might be getting too tart. Watch the rhubarb - I think more than two days infusion time is too much. Strain through a fine sieve and then a coffee filter, and then you have a new pink-tart ingredient to play with. Use the rhubarb gin in any recipe that calls for gin. Yes, you could do the same thing with plain vodka. When I do this for the first time, I always use small amounts of everything in case I am unhappy with the results. I posted a picture below.
If you wanted to make a homemade liqueur, you could take that strained infused gin or vodka and add sugar, then let it sit for a few months until it matured.
Here is an excellent resource for making liqueurs...
I'm also thinking about strawberry, rhubarb, a few vanilla beans, and vodka.
I would not recommend using your bison grass vodka with rhubarb, because the flavors of bison grass are very subtle, and would get lost. I enjoy bison grass straight, or in simple cocktails.
Hmmm... I'm wondering about that dark rum you mentioned....
I don't usually measure out my stuff but here goes:
For the compote: (taken from the joy of cooking)
four or five stalks of fresh rhubarb
about a 1/2 cup of sugar
For the drink
About a cup of Rhubarb compote
juice of one lemon
juice of one lime
about a tray full of ice
about a 1/3 cup (I think) of Dark rum (I didn't have much left).
To make the compote dice rhurbarb and place in sauce pan with sugar wait 15 mintues or until the rhubarb exudes liquid.
then place on stove on med-high heat stirring until it becomes think and viscious.
Place in frrdge wait until cool.
Take ice, rum, compote, put them in the blender. Add in sugar to taste. Add Lemon and lime jucie as it blends.
When I did this I could taste the rhurbarb and the rum. I think dark rum can stand up to the very strong flavor of the rhurbarb The flavors married and were impeccably good and pink. I'd take a picture but that would mean pouring another and I have company coming can't be rumming it before hand.
Don't know if you have all the ingredients for them, but here are 3 (the syrup recipe is in the 2nd link):
3/4 oz Pisco
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Rhubarb Syrup
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Old New York Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Genever Gin
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Rhubarb Syrup (see recipe in link
)1 dash Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
2 oz Oloroso Sherry (or other dry sherry
)1 oz Rhubarb Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
Shake with ice. Fill collins glass with ice cubes and 2-3 oz club soda. Strain sherry and juices on top. Serve with a straw.