Summer has settled into Brisbane. The days are long and languid, the sun glaring down from electric blue skies. There is a moment in the very early hours of the morning when I wake up with the slightest shiver and pull the blanket up over me from the foot of the bed where we’ve kicked it to during the night. It doesn’t last long though; by the time the kids are awake the world is bright and hot again.
I spend my hot days in the house and walking the streets with the kids, visiting parks and libraries, swimming down at Southbank or at our local pool. Our fridge is always stocked with bottles of cold, cold water because all of this heat and all of this walking make me perpetually thirsty. The first thing we do, the kids and I, when we walk in the door is sit on the kitchen floor and share some water, taking turns to guzzle straight from the bottle.
Sometimes though, in the late afternoons/early evenings, when S and I are sitting out on the verandah having a chat, I want a little something extra to sweeten my beverage. So I made this Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup. Because I love rhubarb in all of its incarnations, and because rosewater makes everything special. It is a bright, sweet, happy kind of syrup; I like to add just a splash to a tall glass of mineral water. Or, for the adult version, jazz up my gin & tonic with a drizzle. It is the season to be happy, after all.
Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup
600 grams rhubarb
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 – 2 tsps rosewater
3 cups water
Remove any leaves from the rhubarb stems and cut into 2cm pieces.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan mix the sliced rhubarb and the sugar together. Add the lemon juice and water, bring to the boil, then removed the lid and lower heat. Simmer on low heat, with the lid off, for an hour.
Using a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) strain the liquid into a bowl and add one teaspoon of the rosewater. Taste, and add the remaining teaspoon of rosewater at your discretion.
Store the syrup in a jar.
Yield: approx. 1 1/4 cups