Rhubarb Basil Lemonade

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Since the warm weather arrived a few months ago, I have been a little disappointed that I am unable to indulge in all the yummy summer cocktails and sangrias that seem to make their way onto drink menus the minute the heat hits. Instead of whining, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a refreshing summer mocktail for myself to enjoy. I know that I am currently no longer pregnant and some may ask why I am not making the choice to indulge in alcohol. Although others may choose to drink alcohol well breastfeeding and that is a personal decision that I do not judge; it is not the right decision for me. I am choosing to err on the side of caution and abstain while breastfeeding. I also can’t imagine timing and planning out when to consume alcohol, especially with a newborn whose needs seem to change every few days – right when we think we got it figured out! 😉

One of the vegetables that seems to be around in surplus during summer in Winnipeg is rhubarb. Since I had a bunch frozen and also just had a fresh batch given to me, I figured it was a good place to start.

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I made a syrup out of the rhubarb by combining:

  • 4 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of water

I placed the rhubarb, sugar and water into a pot and brought it to a boil. I then simmered the mixture for approximately 20 minutes until the sauce thickened and the rhubarb was soft. Afterwards, I poured the mixture through a strainer, making sure to squash the rhubarb with the back of a spoon to gather as much liquid as possible. I poured the liquid into a bottle and kept the soft rhubarb pieces in a jar to be used later as a topping for toast.

For the mocktail I needed:

  • 6 pieces of fresh basil
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice
  • 1.5 ounces of rhubarb syrup
  • San Pellegrino
  • ice

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I placed 6 pieces of basil and 1 ounce of lemon juice into the bottom of a glass. I muddled the basil with the back of a spoon, piercing it to release flavour. I then added a few ice cubes to the glass and topped it up with San Pellegrino. I enjoy the carbonation of San Pellegrino, however; I also tried it with regular water and it was great too. (A sweeter version can also be done with ginger ale). Lastly, I added the ounce and a half of rhubarb syrup and garnished it with fresh basil.

The result was fantastic and I am now feeling summer drink satisfied!

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