It has been a long, cold winter, but there's at least one sign of spring: fresh stalks of rhubarb, one of the first edibles to sprout after the thaw.
At George, a Toronto restaurant that embraces seasonal ingredients, newly harvested rhubarb is the key to a bracingly tart cocktail. "It's a great way to celebrate the coming of spring, which so many of us are so desperately in need of," says owner Peter Gundy, who created the amaretto-based libation with the members of the George Restaurant Cocktail Committee (comprised of wait staff and in-house bartenders). The cocktail requires some advance preparation to make the rhubarb purée that gives the drink its acidic snap.
1½ ounces rhubarb purée
1½ ounces Belvedere Vodka
1 ounce Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira
1 egg white
1½ ounces lemon juice
½ ounce honey water (boil equal parts water and honey)
Start by cleaning, peeling and cutting a cup of fresh rhubarb before adding it to a pot containing 1 cup of water and a ½ cup of sugar.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.
Let it cool and then purée. The mixture can keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
When you’re ready to make the cocktail, combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds without ice.
Add three-quarters of a cup of ice and shake once more for another 15 seconds.
Pour all ingredients into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with a freshly peeled rhubarb stick coated in sugar and a Luxardo maraschino cherry.