Friday, June 17, 2016

Eats: Rhubarb Cordial

Hello! An unexpected neighborhood clean-up drive sent me scurrying to our garage to see what could be hauled away to a dumpster temporarily parked a mere block away. 

I was glad for such convenience, but it was hot, dirty work. So when I was done I treated myself to a glassful of a rhubarb cordial/club soda concoction. 

I should hasten to add that the rhubarb cordial, in this case, isn't alcoholic; I'd call it a syrup. But Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, authors of  the cookbook Fika,  label it "Rhubarb Cordial". 

"Fika" (pronounced "fee-ka") refers to foods and beverages served during Swedish coffee breaks, and rhubarb cordial (in Swedish, "rabarbersaft")is considered a good option for summer fika. 

Rhubarb is in season now at our local farmers' market, so when I came across this use for it in Fika, I knew I had to try it. And now you can too:

Rhubarb Cordial (Rabarbersaft), adapted from Fika, Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, authors

10-12 (about 2 pounds) rhubarb stalks
6 1/3 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole cloves (see note below)

1 cinnamon stick (see note below)

Wash rhubarb and cut into small pieces (no need to remove skin). Place in large saucepan along with water and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook rhubarb until it falls apart (note: this doesn't take long). Skim off and discard any foam that appears on the surface. 

Remove from heat and strain liquid through a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Return strained liquid to saucepan, add sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar has dissolved completely, then remove from heat. 

Remove cloves and cinnamon stick and pour into clean, sterilized bottles. Store bottles in the refrigerator and use within 6 weeks. You can freeze the cordial for long-term storage. 

To use: dilute the cordial with tap or sparkling water, using 1 part cordial to 4 parts water. 

Yield: about two 25-ounce bottles.

Note: I came across an adapted version of this recipe on another blog; the spices weren't used. I suspect that was because that blogger didn't have them on hand. I do, and so I added them. They add a faint spiciness to the cordial, but I'm guessing it's okay to leave them out if need be. 

Here's how I cooled off after my junk hauling endeavor:

I like this drink very much! The rhubarb flavor is mild, and the drink isn't overly sweet. 

My first batch of rhubarb cordial is almost finished, so I plan on making some more. Although I was more than happy to have the busted deck chair, rusty saw, decrepit space heater and other rejects gone, I don't want the rhubarb cordial to be gone!

PS Fika is a lovely cookbook; I found many of the recipes to be very appealing and plan on copying several of them before I have to return the book back to our library.

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