Honey Rhubarb Syrup (makes about 1 1/2 cups syrup; enough for 8 drinks)
1/2cupmild-flavored honey(6 ounces by weight)
2cupsrhubarb, sliced 1/2" thick (on the diagonal, if you like)(8 ounces by weight)
For each cocktail:
2(1/4" thick)slices of fresh ginger root
3tablespoonshoney rhubarb syrup (from above)
3tablespoonsgin (such as No. 209 or Hendrick's)
1tablespoonstrained fresh lemon juice
4drops bergamot or blood orange bitters (optional)
Make the syrup:
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, honey and sliced rhubarb. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, tilting the pan gently once in a while to dissolve the honey. When the mixture reaches a simmer, immediately turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes.
Gently strain the mixture into a heatproof bowl. Reserve the rhubarb for another use. Let cool to room temperature, then chill the syrup until cold. (If you're in a hurry, place the bowl in an ice bath and stir until cold.) The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for at least a week.
Make the cocktail:
In a glass or measuring cup, mash the ginger with a muddling stick to break it up and extract the juice (a wooden spoon will work in place of a muddler). Add the syrup, gin, and lemon juice, stir well, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a cocktail shaker filled partway with ice, pressing on the ginger to extract all the good stuff. (A pint-sized mason jar with a lid works well in place of a cocktail shaker.) Add the bitters, if using. Shake the drink vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a smallish glass and enjoy.
Inspired by Carey's Thyme and Pear Bee's Knees.Save the rhubarb from the syrup for eating with yogurt and granola, or for topping a panna cotta or tart.Variation: Honey, Rhubarb, and Ginger Gin Tonic Strain the ginger/lemon/syrup/gin mixture into a glass over ice. Add a squeeze of lime juice, and throw the lime wedge into the glass, too. Top with sparkling water and 4 drops of Angostura bitters in place of the bergamot/blood orange bitters. Stir and enjoy.Nutritional values are based on one of eight drinks.