As soon as the weather turns nice, my absolute favorite thing is spending time in my backyard. Filled with large old trees that sweep together to form a canopy, allowing just the right amount of sun to filter through, and an admittedly overgrown English garden. It is my own little secret garden, a cherished oasis to write and read. It is completely serene, which in the middle of a city is a welcomed escape.
Come the weekend it is a little less serene, which is equally as welcomed. The three small children next door do their best to pop their heads over the fence to see what we are up to or offer a running commentary to their games from the treehouse.
The music and laughter as we welcome friends to our little escape, melds with the sounds from the neighboring yards and the chirping birds to form a fun, happy buzz.
From morning coffee to evening glasses of wine if you are looking for me over the weekend, chances are you will find me in the backyard.
Unless I’m off for a morning visit to the farmers market to pick supplies for the evenings BBQ.
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ lemon, juiced + zest
- Place a sauce pot with sugar and water over medium heat, bring to a low boil under the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add in rhubarb, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 25-30 mins until the rhubarb is very soft and can be easily mashed.
- Press the syrup through a fine mesh strainer, mashing the rhubarb and pushing through the juice, into a large measuring cup or bowl.
- Allow to cool, then pour into a sealable jar. Store in fridge for up to 1 week.
But what falls between that morning coffee and evening wine… well that has to be a cheeky afternoon gin cocktail!
There is just something about gin and summer that go so wonderfully together.
Having a little break in the afternoon to admire the garden, before the cooking or entertaining starts, with a gin and tonic or a classic tom collins is so refreshing. A little slice of weekend bliss.
While I believe you shouldn’t mess too much with a classic, one afternoon staring at the ripe rhubarb wondering what I should do with it, I thought the rhubarb would make the right addition to the lemony tart tom collins.
After a few trial and errors, I settled on making the rhubarb syrup with the lemon infused a decision mostly to make backyard drink mixing easier. Who wants to fuss about with juicing a lemon? Which incidentally really attracts bees…
Topped with a few fresh mint leaves from my garden, this cocktail is bright and refreshing. Perfect for summer afternoons and hosting friends.
And if it is a mocktail you are after, just leave out the gin! Or mix the rhubarb and lemon syrup with clementine sparkling soda water, so good! Trust me.
- 2 oz rhubarb & lemon syrup
- 1.5 oz gin
- sparkling water
- mint leaves
- In a tall glass mix together gin and syrup.
- Add ice, and then top with sparkling water.
- Garnish with mint leaves, or lemon wedge.