While making strawberry rhubarb compote recently, I thought I was pretty clever. For whichever use I had intended for the deliciously sweet fruit mixture – I’ve tried making it in so many ways recently, I’ve lost track – I found myself with way too much liquid. Both the strawberries and rhubarb give off a ton of their flavor this way when cooking. So I drained off the excess and thought – why not use it to sweeten a beverage? Because really, it’s pretty much a flavored simple syrup but with mostly natural fruit sugar.
I looked to my meager bar supply and thought gin would be a good pairing. And it was. I enjoy a good gin and tonic in the warm months, and this addition was excellent. However, I wasn’t the only one with this thought. NPR just featured a rhubarb cocktail – except, to their error, without the strawberry aspect. Other sites offered similar ideas as well, but I didn’t see anywhere they were also utilizing the cooked fruit. As long as you’re not straining out every ounce of moisture from the compote – and how much you drain is dependent on your intended use – you’ve got yourself one great drink for nothing. You can thank me later.
A Strawberry Rhubarb Beverage
Skip the gin for a non-alcoholic yet still delicious version. Or use fresh lemonade in place of the water.
- 2 ounces drained syrup from the Strawberry rhubarb compote
- 2 ounces gin
- 6 ounces tonic water or club soda
- Lime quarters
- Strawberries (for garnish)
- In a tall glass, combine the syrup, gin, and ice. Squeeze in some lime juice, then stir everything together. Garnish with a strawberry.