One of my favourite seasonal vegetables in spring (for us, it’s more like late spring-early summer) is rhubarb. I’ve used it in pies, cakes, and other desserts – but wanted to try something different this time around.
While thinking up ideas, a dusty little memory sprung up from my days as a violin student; more specifically, the summer days, when the studios at the university where I took my lessons during the school year were closed, and we moved our study sessions to my teacher’s residence in cottage country. It was an idyllic setting, surrounded by nature with light filtering through the tall trees of the woods, and my siblings would go swimming in the lake while my teacher and I worked to perfect my latest piece of music. Afterwards, his wife would offer to us her home-made iced tea and fruit juice popsicles before we embarked on our long ride home. I could have sworn there was rhubarb in her iced tea, and though I couldn’t conjure the exact taste of her rendition in my mind (it’s been over a decade since I last saw them) the idea for a rhubarb iced tea stuck in my head.
Raspberry Rhubarb Iced Tea (in memory of Kenneth Perkins)
6 stalks chopped rhubarb
6 oz fresh raspberries
1 1/4″ slice of orange
3 inch cinnamon stick
8 cups of water
3 orange pekoe tea bags
1 cup sugar
In a pot, simmer the rhubarb, raspberries, orange slice, cinnamon stick and water, covered, for one hour.
Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep for 2 minutes, then remove tea bags, and strain, pressing down on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Stir in sugar.
Refrigerate until cold, and serve over ice. For an alcoholic version, I mixed this with vodka and just a hint of St. Germain. I’ll admit I did this at 8 in the morning, but since today is a Saturday let’s just call it a brunch option!