Friday Recipe Exchange: Sitting on the Porch, Sipping…

tamara rhubarb-spritzer

Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Spritzer by Alton Gunn

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From our Food Goddess, TaMara:

It is too hot to cook. Mostly I take fresh fruits and veggies and toss them in a salad. I am waiting with anticipation for this year’s crop of peaches to begin to show up from Palisades, CO. Next to sweet corn, it is my favorite summer Colorado crop. Once they get here, we’ll revisit some of my favorite peach recipes. Until then I thought it would be fun to mix up some drinks to keep things cool.

Starting with Thai Iced Tea, from cyber friend, Tes at Home (recipe here), who is originally from Thailand and now lives in India and shares her food and travel adventures on her blog.

Next up, a couple of Watermelon Cooler recipes can be found here.

I love my Mimosas, but a few years back, someone introduced me to Poinsettias (recipe here), which I find equally delicious at brunch.

For the rest of our drink recipes, including a martini, old-fashioned lemonade, iced coffees, smoothies and more, click here.

I’m crazy busy this weekend, visiting the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanic Gardens and then off to the World Lacrosse Championships (I won tickets! I was going anyway, but this was a pleasant surprise). What’s on your plate this weekend, real and metaphorically? Have any favorite summer drinks or unique takes on the classics? What’s your “too hot to cook” go-to recipe? Share your ideas and recipes in the comments.

For tonight’s featured recipe, I picked an unusual, but tasty, spritzer. One night a few summers back I received a phone call from a friend who said her husband had just made the most amazing drink and I had to try it. I said, ‘send the recipe and photos and I’ll share it’. A few minutes later I received the email. I read through the recipe and thought, there is no way this can be good.

But, to my surprise, it was delicious. So if you’re looking for something just a bit unique and refreshing, this is it.

Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Spritzer

1 pound rhubarb, cleaned, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup lemon juice
Soda water or carbonated water

Put rhubarb pieces, water, sugar, and rosemary leaves into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Rhubarb pieces will disintegrate. Remove from heat. Strain out the solids with a fine mesh strainer. Add lemon juice. If too sweet for taste, add a little more lemon juice. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, fill a quarter to a half of the glass with the lemon, rhubarb, rosemary syrup, and the rest with soda water.

Makes about 3 cups of syrup, and 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of spritzer.

That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll be travelling so there won’t be an exchange. And if you missed it, JeffreyW posted a stunning photo this week (I know what’s new? But this one is beautiful and unusual). – TaMara

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40 replies
  1. 1
    wmd says:

    We used to make Bloody Bettys to drink alongside buckwheat pancakes. Rhubarb juice, simple syrup and vodka, ice cold.

  2. 2
    Mnemosyne says:

    I made this tasty vegetarian chili yesterday — you could even make it vegan if you used brown sugar instead of honey (which I did, because I like brown sugar better).

    I think I put the chili powder in too soon because there’s an error in the directions where she accidentally put “chili powder” twice instead of cumin in one spot and chili powder in the second spot. It still worked out, though.

    It’s hot enough that the crockpot is looking viable to me again right now, but I haven’t decided what to make.

  3. 3

    Here are some recipes for drinks that I have blogged about.over the past year.
    My version of watermelon cooler
    Michelada with rock salt
    and the latest mango lassi

  4. 4
    MomSense says:

    I picked up the CSA share today and the beets looked so good I decided I would roast them and then add goat cheese, walnuts, etc–but they were so delicious we just devoured them right out of the baking dish.

    Small, fresh beets scrubbed with skins on
    sprig fresh rosemary
    olive oil
    salt
    pepper
    balsamic vinegar

    Scrub the beets and add to the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the fresh rosemary to the pan (leave on the stem). Roast at 400 for about 20 minutes or until tender.
    As soon as you take the beets out of the oven, drizzle with some nice balsamic and then go crazy!

    I like the skins because they add a nice crispy texture and counter the sweetness of the beets. If you don’t like the skins, you can peel them before roasting.

    You can add goat cheese, walnuts, onions to the beets at the end. Fresh squeezed orange juice is nice too but the beets we had tonight were freshly picked today and so tender and sweet that they really didn’t need much.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    Looking for a top-notch lemonade recipe. Anyone have a fave to share?

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Botsplainer says:

    Recently, we’ve been treated to some great drinks (Louisville is a solid foodie town now, thanks to good culinary ed and the UPS hub bringing fresh fish). There have been some chili-lime infusions with tequila and gin that make you take notice, as well as chili mango mixtures that make you real happy, especially when paired with fish or shellfish courses.

    My personal favorites, though, are Prohibition era cocktails, whether original or deconstructed and modernized. There is a real artistry to doing those right.

  8. 8
    MomSense says:

    @MomSense:

    Correction

    Roast 20 minutes then toss-add more oil if necessary and then another 20-25 minutes.

    About 45 minutes total — or until tender

  9. 9
    Comrade Mary says:

    Oh man — that drink looks amazing.

    But I can’t drink any more! As recently as last year I could go to a pub with friends starting around 8 PM, have 1-2 pints over several hours, and be quite sober by 2-3 AM and able to cycle home.

    But over the past few months, I’ve found that if I drink even one beer (not even a full pint — 12 ounces will do it) or a glass of wine, I get fairly drunk and quite sleepy. What happened to my hollow-ish leg?

  10. 10

    @Mnemosyne: Husband kitteh loled when he read #3, it describes his reaction to the T, also too #5.

  11. 11
    Waratah says:

    MomSense did you cut the beets or roast whole.
    We are supposed to have beets at the farmers market tomorrow.

  12. 12
    Yatsuno says:

    @Comrade Mary: I’ve been going lightweight as well. Which sucks, as YellowJournalism & I went to the premier drinking school on the planet. Maybe our livers are just giving up or something.

    EDIT: no real good sipping drinks, but cherry-pomegranate Italian sodas are serious nomz.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    sorry, don’t want to bring down the booze thread

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I’ve always been a cheap date (one and done) but my tolerance for staying out late has definitely gone down since I’ve gotten into my mid-40s. Used to be that the evening didn’t even start until 9:00 pm and closing time was the signal to head over to Norm’s for breakfast, but now we’re home by 9:00 pm. We got home after midnight the other night and I thought I wasn’t going to make it up the stairs to the apartment.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @raven:

    Meh, it’s not really a booze thread — that watermelon cooler is watermelon and lemon sorbet, no booze involved. Cold summer drinks are often better without booze.

    Unless, of course, you’re walking around San Jose del Cabo in August and it’s 90 degrees with 95 percent humidity. Then that ice-cold sangria is the best goddamned thing you’ve ever tasted in your life.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Meh yourself I’d be in a boat.

  17. 17
    currants says:

    Did I get this recipe here? Maybe it was Smitten Kitchen. Can’t remember. Anyway:

    Watermelon Agua Fresca (Fresco?):

    Watermelon, in chunks
    ½ c lime juice
    1 c water
    1 c club soda
    Puree watermelon in a blender.
    Strain the juice into a bowl (using a spoon to squeeze the juice through a sieve).
    Add lime juice to the mixture, then add water and club soda.
    If you’ve got a really sweet melon like the one above, you may not need to add honey or sugar (or agave nectar or simple syrup) but taste it and make your decision.
    Pour the finished product into a pitcher with ice and add a few sprigs of mint.
    If you’re a drinking man/woman, it’s good with vodka.

    ETA: or so they say. Haven’t tried it myself. But can’t WAIT to try that rosemary thing!

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: Yeah, but in a boat with a cocktail in hand would be better.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You know some people don’t drink?

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @raven: Just having a little fun.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: Yesh, I alwaysh admiresesh thoshe peopleses.

  22. 22
    Anne Laurie says:

    @raven: Heck, as a near-abstainer (family history of problems on both sides), I’m always up for a festive non-alcoholic beverage that doesn’t require me to explain my stance to every half-in-the-bag person at the party!

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Looking for a top-notch lemonade recipe. Anyone have a fave to share?

    I like a rosemary lemonade. You take a bunch of rosemary and steep it in hot water to make a rosemary tea. Allow that to cool and use it for some of the water when you make your lemonade. It adds a great flavor to the drink. Other tips:

    1) Add some zest as well as juice; it enhances the flavor a lot
    2) Use simple syrup instead of straight sugar so you don’t have to worry about the sugar taking forever to dissolve.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anne Laurie: Gosh that seems reasonable.

  25. 25

    @Betty Cracker: I use key limes and add a dash of rock salt to mine.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    There used to be an awesome restaurant in Santa Monica called Blueberry that served breakfast and lunch, and of course you could get blueberry lemonade as your drink. This Bobby Flay recipe looks like it would be pretty similar to what they had.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: Gosh, you seem reasonable.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sometimes it seems like I am the last reasonable man.
    Allow me to introduce myself…

  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @currants: That’s my recipe!

  30. 30
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Roger Moore: Rosemary seems like an odd thing to add, but sometimes unlikely combos work. May have to try that!

  31. 31
    efgoldman says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I’m always up for a festive non-alcoholic beverage that doesn’t require me to explain my stance to every half-in-the-bag person at the party!

    You don’t have to. I don’t. We don’t owe an explanation to anybody.
    [I come from a long line, including my dad and grandfather, of the Eastern European “smell the cork an pass out” gene.]

  32. 32
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m bookmarking that.Yum.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @efgoldman:

    You don’t have to. I don’t. We don’t owe an explanation to anybody.

    I agree. If I am at a social event and not boozing for whatever reason, I just ask for what I want.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    “The girl. How much for the little girl?”

  35. 35
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    If I am at a social event and not boozing for whatever reason, I just ask for what I want.

    Anyway, because I knew everything there was to know (and then some) in college, I drank enough for three lifetimes. Also two weeks of army reserve “training” every summer for six years. Our training was how to find the off-post liquor store in 30 minutes or less.
    Oh, and I was very fortunate, in my mid-20s, that the guy with the station wagon full of kids saw me run the red light before it was too late….

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’ve had lemon-rosemary olive oil cake at a local bakery — this recipe seems pretty similar. Lemon and rosemary work really well together.

  37. 37
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: My hubby makes a great lemon rosemary marinade for grilled chicken, which I used to enjoy before I had pet chickens. It’s the rosemary + sugar that is throwing me off, but I bet it’s good.

  38. 38
    HelloRochester says:

    Pint glass full of ice. One part gin, one part campari, one part seltzer. Half a lime.

  39. 39
    HelloRochester says:

    Pint glass full of ice. One part gin, one part campari, one part seltzer. Half a lime.

  40. 40
    currants says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well THANK you then! I usually include the source when I print something out, but on this one I failed to–I really appreciate your noticing and commenting!

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