a drink and things: rhubarb shandy June 17 2016, 0 Comments

Normally, I like to keep these posts light, but this week was not normal. All week, I've been reeling from the shooting earlier this week in Orlando.  

A Facebook friend recently posted something that resonated: 

"I saw a piece recently about the six types of love the ancient Greeks recognized. One is Ludus, playful love. Most readily experienced when you dance. I imagine Pulse as where you go to experience Ludus, and Philia (the joy of long-term friendship), and Agape (a love of humanity not tied to one person), and yes, Eros. Can you imagine having all of that love in one place? When the world has told you all your life you can't have any of those kinds of love? And then to have that sanctuary violated."

This story gave me (a little) hope for humanity. 

And Anderson Cooper's tribute to the victims was moving and important. 

In honor of the victims, those are all "the things" I have this week. 

Now that I have you all weepy, it looks like you need a drink. 

Rhubarb Shandy

Makes 1 drink

Made with a light, low-alcohol beer and some kind of juice or soda (often, lemonade), shandies are the ultimate day-time drinks. Rhubarb season started where I live in the mid-Atlantic about a month ago, but I can still find it at the market. Here, I use the stalks to make a sweet-tart pink syrup and add it to the beer. The syrup is equally delicious and refreshing with seltzer. 

1/4 cup rhubarb syrup (see below) or more, to taste

One 12-ounce light, crisp beer, such as pilsner or lager

Ice (optional)

Freeze a pint glass or other beer glass for 15 minutes if you have time. Pour the rhubarb syrup into a pint glass. Slowly pour the beer on top. Add more syrup and a few ice cubes, if desired, and enjoy!

Rhubarb Syrup

Makes about 2 cups

1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups water

1 lemon

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Use a vegetable peeler to remove a few strips of lemon zest and add them to the syrup. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is very soft, about 10 minutes. Let cool to warm.

Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a measuring cup and let stand for 30 minutes if you want to eek out as much syrup as possible. Discard or reserve the rhubarb pulp for another use. Taste the syrup and add the juice from the lemon if you'd like it to be more tart. The syrup can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks.