I feel like this happens every time this year, and yet it always takes me by surprise. And by this, I don’t mean this summery strawberry rhubarb simple syrup. Rather, it’s this sudden realization that we’re smack in the middle of summer, when really, it feels like summer just started. I haven’t even started on my summer plans yet; and I had so many of them. I remember back in march, walking along the seawall on a rare summer-like day and listing off all the things I was going to do come summer.
This weekend we have the fireworks and Pride, all this for me means that summer is winding down.
August is for getting in the last of our summer activities. Weekend getaways and hot road trips, picnics by the water, Island hopping and quiet afternoon hikes, and lazy evenings on the balcony drinking fruity cocktails.
Back when summer was full of promise, I thought I’d set intentions, or goals if you will, for the season.
I was going to live in dresses all summer long. I’d sit out on my little balcony overlooking a wooded garden and drink rosé, lemonade and cocktails while planning weekend adventures.
And of course, I’d make this simple syrup and experiment with slew of others for the cocktails and lemonade.
I managed to make the syrup once, at the start of the season wanting very much to try this cocktail because it sounds delightful. I still haven’t tried the cocktail, perhaps one night this week for the fireworks, and maybe we’ll sit out on the balcony after all.
This syrup embodies the sweet simpler joys of summer; we made some last summer and enjoyed it in delicate fizzy spritzers all season long. It’s one of those things that is just great to have around, especially during these long mugggy days. It adds an exquisitely refreshing touch to drinks; use it to sweeten lemonades, spritzers and sodas, cocktails and other summer drinks. Strawberries are plentiful at the market right now. The market I go to grow its own rhubarb, they always look so tempting, but I unfortunately don’t have a lot of rhubarb recipes to try.
I love using rhubarb this way, its tart subtle flavour and colouring works beautifully in this syrup. It’s quite simple to make, as the name implies; and smells amazing while simmering away on the stove. One other delicious tip, the solids leftover from straining the syrup is quite delicious, use it like you would jam, in yoghurt, on toast, etc.
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
- 1 cup turbinado sugar, or other raw sugar
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- Pinch of sea salt, optional
- Juice of 1/2 a small lime, optional
- In a large saucepan, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and water
- Add lime zest and salt (if using)
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat
- Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until fruit completely breaks down
- Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and let mixture cool completely (can be cooled overnight in fridge)
- Pour cooled mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, using a spatula or the back of a spoon press on solids in the strainer to get all the liquid out. Save fruit pulp for other use.
- Pour syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use
- It’ll keep in the fridge for at least 3 weeks