rhubarbI'd like to introduce you to my friend Karrie, who is obsessed with sustainability just like me! (We bonded one night at a club over non-toxic makeup, no lie.) This is her first submission, hopefully of many more to come! When she told me how she picked up rhubarb and decided--on the fly--to make it into a drink, I was like, "Girl, you are sending that to me." And here it is, in her words:  Rhubarb is a funny little plant. Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Either way, it is absolutely delicious--and beautiful! On the farm I grew up on in Vermont, my parents had a giant rhubarb bush near our garden. I always found myself plucking a bright red stalk, taking a sour bite, and then immediately running into the house to dip it into the sugar bowl. (My version of Sour Patch Kids?) When I recently visited my local farmer's market in Brooklyn, I spotted a vendor selling rhubarb, and of course bought a few stalks. But what do I do with them now? Make a pie? Nah. I know ... make an easy, simple syrup! I really hate using refined sugar when cooking or baking anything, so I tried out this recipe below, and it came out perfect! (And our kitchen smelled amazing.)

honey rhubarb mint syrupMint Rhubarb Syrup

Editor's note: All of this can be found at the farmer's market. Right now. Go.  5-8 stalks of rhubarb (the redder the better!) 1 cup of fresh mint 1/3 cup of local honey Chop the rhubarb stalks into small chucks, and add to a medium-sized pot. Add mint leaves. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water (just enough to cover the rhubarb & mint). Boil until soft. Editor's note: Don't boil too long, or the fibers of the rhubarb will be in your syrup. Not a travesty, just a thought. Also, the juice won't appear red until you strain it, so don't fret.   Strain until you are left with just the beautiful red juice in a cup or bowl. Add the juice back to the empty pot and add the honey. Heat until thoroughly mixed. I then put the syrup into cute little Ball jars and placed them in the fridge. Voila! You can do whatever you like with this rhubarb syrup, like add it to seltzer for a refreshing, bubbly drink. I recommend the following, and my roommates approved!

Summer Market Cocktail

What you need: Rhubarb/mint/honey syrup Gin St . Germaine liquor San Pellegrino (or any seltzer) Mint Cucumber (sliced) Ice Muddle the cucumber slices and mint at the bottom of glass. Add 1 part gin, and 1 part St. Germaine. Add several tablespoons of the rhubarb syrup. Add about 2 parts seltzer (or to your taste). Add ice! You are left with a delicious light-pink colored cocktail that tastes just like summer. Enjoy! farmers market cocktail