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Spring Drinks

It has been a while since I wrote about a cocktail on these pages. What’s wrong with me? Am I avoiding the word mixology?

This little beauty features rhubarb juice, a juice I didn’t know existed. At least I had never given it any thought. You puree a bunch of rhubarb in a food processor and then strain it through cheesecloth. You get a mind-blowing amount of juice. Like, basically rhubarb are all liquid. It is crazy! Science! Anyway, you get a measuring cup full of ruby-red liquid (or not, depending on the color of your rhubarb). You need to let the liquid sit overnight so that the pulp can sink to the bottom and then you pour off the crystal clear red juice and discard the sediment. Then, you make this very delicious drink.

The recipe is from the new Franny’s [1] cookbook, which it is fair to say I am obsessed with. All of the warmth and good vibes of Franny’s are captured in the pages of this beautiful book. I am guessing the always-wonderful Melissa Clark [2] had a lot to do with the success of this book, as she so often does. I want to make everything in it: pizza, pasta, gelato!

I started with this cocktail to calm my nerves and celebrate spring. Cheers!

Rhubarb Bridge (recipe from Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian [3] by Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens, and Melissa Clark)

In a food processor, puree the rhubarb until smooth. Pour the puree into a strainer lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth together and very firmly wring out the rhubarb to release all of the juice. Discard the solids.

Let the juice sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, then strain off all of the red juice that has separated out on top and discard the sediment at the bottom. The reserved juice will keep for 3 days.

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice cubes. Add 1 1/2 ounces of the rhubarb juice, the vodka, Aperol, and simple syrup and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

*** The recipe makes enough of the juice for several (4-6?) cocktails.

***I think it is a good idea to store the rhubarb juice in a liquid measuring cup overnight. It allows you to see that the sediment has landed and also to easily pour off the juice on top.

***For all of you vodka snobs out there, get over it. No, you cannot use another alcohol in this recipe.