This One Is Dangerous: Rhubarb Granita Cocktails

So I’m in the middle of a pretty intense obsession with rhubarb- I’ve made a ton of jam, rhubarb syrup, rhubarb mojitos, and most recently this rhubarb granita.Granitas are simply frozen syrups that you stir during the freezing process, making a texture something like a snow cone. ( The Los Angeles Times has an article here explaining the general process.) They’re almost are always a good idea- they’re sweet and cold, the perfect treat for a hot day.

This granita is superpowered, though.

It’s already amazing because it’s made of rhubarb…. but this granita also has vodka in it.  Throw some in a glass and top it with sprite or seltzer water, and you now have one of those deceptive cocktails that definitely doesn’t taste as strong as it really is.  Fizzy, sweet and tart, cold….  it’s the perfect cocktail for a sunny afternoon.  Whenever I put recipes up here for the whole internet to see, I like to taste them one last time to make sure I have the measurements right.  That means that right now (9:42 a.m.) I’m having to remind myself that drinking vodka cocktails before breakfast is never, ever a good idea.

oh, but what a breakfast it could be….

(no! step away!)

seriously though, these are addictive.  Serve it at your next party and all of your guests will love you.

Rhubarb Granita 

I got the idea for this recipe here, from A Crafty Lass’s recipe for Rhubarb Slush.  I didn’t really follow the recipe, so I’m not 100% sure, but I think her version is more like frozen rhubarb jello.  I omitted the gelling step, changed a couple ingredients, and figured a basic granita would be just as good.

Cook Time: oh, with time in the freezer included, about a day- but don’t let that scare you- it’s easy.

Makes: a lot- almost a gallon

Ingredients:

  • 8 c. rhubarb, chopped into 1″ sections
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. strawberry jam
  • 2 c. vodka
  • for serving the cocktails: sprite, 7-up, ginger ale, seltzer…. anything fizzy will work

Step 1: Make the rhubarb syrup

Combine the rhubarb, water, sugar and lemon juice in a large pot and cook on high heat until the rhubarb is soft, about 20 minutes.  Strain the mixture through a colander, reserving the rhubarb syrup.  (Save the pulp- it still tastes good and you can put it in quick bread, mix it into yogurt, make fruit leather, etc.)

Combine the rhubarb syrup with the strawberry jam and the vodka.

Step 2: Make the granita

Pour the rhubarb-vodka mixture into a large, shallow dish.  Cover with saran wrap and place in the freezer.  (If you don’t have enough space in the freezer for a large dish, it really will work ok in a bowl too.  It just might take longer.)    Most granita recipes will tell you to stir the liquid every 30 minutes, but I didn’t do it nearly that often and it turned out fine.   The idea is that you don’t want to let it freeze solid.  I stirred mine with a fork every hour or two, then let it freeze overnight and gave it another stir in the morning.

Step 3: Cocktails

Top with seltzer water, sprite, ginger ale, whatever you like, and drink immediately.  The granita will last awhile (days? weeks? but who could let it sit in there that long without drinking it?) in the freezer, but the texture may change a little, becoming more frozen.  You can always let it thaw for awhile to soften it back up and it should be fine.

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6 thoughts on “This One Is Dangerous: Rhubarb Granita Cocktails

  1. I’m loving all these rhubarb applications. I have one very prolific plant that I scratch my head every year to figure out what to make with it. :o) Thanks!

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