The other day while making strawberry rhubarb jam, I had a bit of a problem. A good problem. My strawberries were just too juicy. I’ve been using the same recipe for 3 years now, adapted from Preserving Summer’s Bounty. First macerate the strawberries in honey overnight. Then, mix together strawberries and juices, extra honey, lemon juice and rhubarb. Cook that down and you have jam, right? In this case, very wrong. At the stage that I should have almost reached the jellying stage, I was instead left with somewhat of a strawberry soup. A deep, rich red broth with the occasional strawberry or hunk of rhubarb bobbing up and down.
According to the original recipe, in situations like this I was meant to strain the fruit from the syrup and boil the syrup separately until it reduced to a thick, jelly like substance. Who has time for that? This was supposed to be my quick jam recipe, done in just a couple of hours, in between brunch and dinner plans with family.
I strained the syrup and tasted it. WOW. Literally strawberry rhubarb pie in a glass. My first thought was to add soda water. Then without missing a beat, wondered where the vodka was. Looking at my pot full of strained fruit, I figured it was still plenty to make jam with. Who would miss an extra pint or so of syrup?
My sister-in-law was hosting a quaint barbecue the next day my hope was to turn my little mason jar full of juicy pie into something refreshing and maybe slightly alcoholic. Armed with vodka, lemoncello, club soda and some lemons, I went to work mixing up a perfectly refreshing ratio. A drink that is mellow with a blend of tart and sweet, but dangerous enough to knock you on your ass if you don’t watch out. Sip with pleasure and caution.
Accidental Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Cocktail (Serves 6-8 depending on glass size)
- 3 c club soda
- 1 c vodka
- 1/2 c lemoncello
- 1 c strawberry rhubarb syrup (excess from jam recipe)
- 1/2 c lemon juice
- 1 lemon, sliced for garnishing
Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher, stirring well with a wooden spoon. Serve in an old fashion glass, filled with ice, and garnish with a lemon slice. Keep remaining cocktail chilled until served.