raspbarb basil cocktail

Seattle is a bit indecisive when it comes to seasons. It tries to give us the appropriate seasonal weather, but it too often succumbs to the urge to revert back to homeostasis: 50s and rainy. So, when planning a party, I’m never quite sure what food and drink will be appropriate. Will it be 70 and sunny? Or 55 and rainy?

I was in this predicament this week. The weather has been going back and forth, but I wanted to plan the party’s menu three days in advance. Thankfully, I found a drink that sounded like it could work on a cool spring day as well as in the hot summer sun. Unthankfully, the recipe didn’t work well as written. Ick. But I had two great friends who helped me tweak the combination until we got it just right. Yum.

These pink drinks were just the thing to get our clothing exchange party started.  Everyone had one (always a good sign!) and sipped, enjoyed, and chatted before we dove into trying on recycled outfits. If they worked at a clothing exchange, I’m pretty sure they’ll work just fine for any occasion!

Raspbarb Basil Cocktail
adapted from The Kitchn

  • 2c raspberry rhubarb purée (see below)
  • 10-12 basil leaves, sliced thinly
  • 8oz vodka
  • ice cubes
  • ~1 liter club soda or seltzer
Place basil leaves in the bottom of a large pitcher, and add a touch of vodka or soda. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle the basil to release flavor. Add the purée, vodka, and ice. Top with soda. Adjust according to your (and your guests’) taste. Serve in lowball glasses, or mason jars if you want to be all trendy. Garnish each glass with a small piece of basil.

For the purée:
  • 4 rhubarb stalks
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 2T water
  • 2c frozen raspberries
  • Agave nectar (alternatively, more sugar)
Chop rhubarb and place in a small saucepan with sugar and water. Bring a boil and then cook, covered, over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, until rhubarb has broken down. Stir in raspberries. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) to purée the entire mixture. Adjust sweetness to taste with agave. Let cool. Purée will keep for up to a week in the fridge. But it’s tastier when it’s fresh.
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