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Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

There is no better summer drink, particularly on Memorial Day weekend, than tall glass of ice-cold lemonade. What other flavors scream summer? Strawberries. Rhubarb. Why not combine them all into the ultimate concoction – summer in a glass? Rhubarb’s natural tartness makes it a perfect pairing for lemons, and will turn lemonade a pretty pink. Ditto strawberries, which can also be sliced and added to each glass, or set on the rim. Strawberry-rhubarb pie, meet lemonade. I know you’ll get along just swell.

This drink is, of course, ideal for backyard barbecues (hello Memorial Day!) and kids’ parties. For grownups, it’s pretty fab loaded with ice and spiked with a little vodka or gin. (Hey, we all need to kick back and relax a bit after a chaotic party…) To make fizzy strawberry-rhubarb lemonade, add sparkling water to the sweet-tart pink syrup.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Lemonade

4-5 rhubarb stalks, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

In a large pot, cover rhubarb and half the strawberries with about 1 L water and bring to a simmer; cook for about 10 minutes, until very soft; remove from heat and let stand until cool. Meanwhile, combine sugar and lemon juice in a small pan, bring it to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add half the strawberries and simmer until softened; mash with a potato masher or puree in a blender.

Strain the rhubarb liquid through a sieve into a pitcher and discard the solids. Stir in the strawberry lemon syrup. Chill, then serve over ice, with cold water or bubbly water added to taste, garnished with lemon wedges or strawberry slices. Makes about 2 L.

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