I have a thing lately with beverages.
I could blame it on the sweet summer sun streaming through my windows until 8 pm at night.
Or, I could tell you the real reason.
That, up until 3 years ago, I used to feel self conscious posting or talking about loving a glass of wine with friends, or dreaming up my homemade cocktail concoctions, without feeling like a hypocrite.
Because how are those things healthy? All those extra calories. All that extra sugar…
But yet, I still loved it. There was just something about a great drink that I couldn’t put my finger on.
It might have been a glass of wine, or cocktail, or even sparkling water with something extra added in for flavor or taste. Something that didn’t just happen daily, and was purely for the decadence of it.
It was (and still is) magical to me.
I realize that it’s not about the drink itself, of course. Although I feel strongly about amazing tasting ones and great ingredients, no matter what it is.
But, it’s more so what that cold little drink symbolizes:
A pause, and a beautiful break in the routine or day or week.
It’s a time to catch up, slow down, and take it in. To wrap up the day, watch a sunset, or accompany you while making a great dinner, with long slow sips.
To celebrate the small things in life. And big. And everywhere in between.
To relax, enjoy and just be exactly where you are at that moment.
Because being and living in a healthy way, is exactly that.
Rhubarb-Sage Syrup // Cocktails
yields 3 cups syrup
3 stalks rhubarb, sliced
1 bunch fresh sage
1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey) [note: this swap instead of white sugar gives such a better depth of flavor and won’t spike your blood sugar in the same way that normal simple syrups would. Add more to your liking if the syrup tastes too tart for your tastes.]
1 1/2 cups water
In a medium saucepan, add rhubarb, 1 1/2 cups water and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Once there, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb softens. Let cool.
Add mixture to a large mason jar, add sage leaves, and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours (and up to 72 hours). Drain liquid with a fine mesh strainer, catching the juice with a bowl below it. Pour juice into a glass jar or storage container and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Hint: If you want a double batch, scrape the rhubarb pulp back into a jar and add 2 cups water. In 2 days, you’ll get a lot more liquid out of the same batch!
Now, what to do with this amazing little summer fridge staple?
Make cocktails + summer mocktails way more interesting.
Splash it into some sparkling water, add a garnish and go sit yourself out on the back porch for a few minutes and soak up that blissful early summer sun. Or, add your favorite cocktail base and turn it into a party.
Great combos include:
tequila + lemon + club soda
gin + lime + club soda
vodka + blackberry/blueberry + club soda
My personal favorite? The tequila version, although I’m pretty sure this syrup would make any combination you can think of, pretty amazing. Here’s the one I’ve been loving, right in time for the weekend.
Rhubarb Sunset Cocktail
1 1/2 oz resposado tequila
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup club soda
splash of rhubarb sage syrup
lemon peels for garnish (optional)
Add all ingredients to a glass, stir well and pour over a cup of ice.