The Simple Things
Rhubarb and gooseberries are the fruits of the moment
The two fruits of the moment are pink, squeaky stemmed, forced rhubarb and lovely sour gooseberries. Either could be used for this spring cocktail, and should be treated the same way: stewed in a little water and honey to sweeten their sourness and then sieved to make a smooth syrup. Gooseberry is the more traditional ingredient for a Whitsun feast, but rhubarb makes a particularly pretty pink drink.
Serves 6 6 stems forced rhubarb (as pink as you can find)
1 bottle champagne or other sparkling wine
1 Chop the rhubarb into 5cm chunks and tip into a saucepan over a medium heat with a small splash of water – rhubarb contains plenty of water so you only need just enough to get it going. Let it bubble away until the rhubarb has completely softened and then use a fork to break and mash the pieces up.
2 Strain into a bowl and add runny honey to taste.
3 Pour your syrup into a jar and chill in the fridge. When ready to serve, fill half a glass with the chilled rhubarb syrup and top with sparkling wine.