Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

We’re finally starting to see signs of spring here in Vermont. All the snow is gone, there’s one lone tulip in my garden, and my downstairs neighbor and I had our first porch beers of 2015. It’s currently rainy and chilly, but I’ll happily take it after our never-ending winter of ice and snow and grossness. I wanted to be excited for spring when the asparagus started showing up, but that’s kind of hard to do while you’re wearing a winter coat and still craving soup. But last week there was rhubarb and tons of pretty pastel-colored flowers at the store, and it finally felt like spring to me. It seemed appropriate to celebrate with some drinks.

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

While I’ve been enduring the final days of our Narnian winter, G has been in Peru hanging out at ancient ruins, eating absurdly cheap food, and drinking pisco. For those that aren’t familiar, pisco is a grape-based brandy that’s produced in both Peru and Chile. Its most well-known application is in the pisco sour (though G told me he’s also has some delicious chilcanos, which sound awesome). I’m quite envious of all the amazing travel experiences he’s having, and he’s been kind enough to indulge my love of animals, flowers, and weird meat/produce with endless pictures. And while I might not be able to do anything about the lack of beautiful weather or marvels of ancient civilization here in VT (can’t say I blame the aliens for passing on a major settlement here in the northeast), I can make myself some pisco sours. And I can put rhubarb in them too.

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

This is somewhat of a bastardized pisco sour, what with the honey and the rhubarb, and the heavy presence of lemon. But it’s crazy good so none of that matters. I used a cold-process method to make the syrup, as it yields the best, brightest rhubarb flavor. The usual standard is one egg white per drink, but I prefer to split one between two drinks. (There’s something about a super velvety drink that makes me very conscious of the fact that there’s a whole bunch of egg white in there. It’s a personal preference, so feel free to use two if you like.) If you’d like to attempt some fancy bitters art, shake your bitters into a bowl, use an eye dropper to drop three dashes of bitters on top, and then use a toothpick to swirl them into a drink. Happy spring!

Oh! And one other reason to celebrate (um, how have I not talked about this here yet?): Reclaiming Provincial is a finalist in the Most Delicious Food category of the Saveur Blog Awards! I’m still in awe, and extremely honored to be sharing the category with so many other talented folks. Voting is open until the end of April, and you can head on over and vote here!

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

makes: 2 drinks

6 oz. pisco
2 oz. honey-rhubarb syrup (recipe below)
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1–2 egg whites
a few dashes of Angostura

Combine all ingredients except Angostura in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and then strain into glasses. Top with Angostura.

Honey-Rhubarb Syrup

yield: approximatley 1 1/2 cups

2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of raw honey

Place all ingredients in a large, wide bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for a few minutes, then crush up rhubarb a bit. (One of those flat, round potato mashers works best for this, but a tenderizer or a muddler will also work in a pinch.) Let the mixture sit for an hour, taking time to stir and crush the contents 2-3 more times. Strain into a jar and then shake to dissolve any remaining sugar if necessary. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Honey-Rhubarb Pisco Sour

Comments

  1. says

    I do love a pisco sour although they’re not a drink that you find very often here in the UK. I’m definitely keen to try making them at home though and this version combines some of my favourite flavours (rhubarb!).

    • carey says

      I bet! They’re fairly difficult to come by around here too. :) I can’t even remember where I first heard of them, but it was definitely online, and then they were on the cocktail menu for a hot minute at a bar downtown. Pisco itself is also pretty elusive. I had to go to the bigger liquor store in the next town over, where they had only one kind from Chile, and it wasn’t even out on the shelves. But Geoff is bringing me back a bottle of good stuff from Peru, so yay!

  2. says

    The only time I’ve ever had a pisco sour is when friend who is from peru would bring them to holiday parties. At first I was a little hesitant to drink something make with egg whites but it’s crazy good. I should suggest he makes this version next time.

    • carey says

      The egg white thing was a little bit of a hurdle for me too, but I loved it once I tried it. I’m still iffy on the whole egg flip deal, which I’m sure is partly (or largely) psychological, but also has a lot to do with not liking thick drinks generally.

  3. says

    Oooh, that rhubarb syrup sounds boss. We finally went on our honeymoon in the beginning of March–we went to St. John and brought back all the rum, and we’ve been working our way through it. (Don’t be jealous–I brought back three flavors of Cruzan because I’m classy like that!) I’ve long wanted to play with South American liquors like pisco and cachaça, though. Our trees are finally flowering here! Spring is coming! I’m so glad the winter from hell is over.

    • carey says

      Haha! I’m really disappointed in myself for not picking up some tequila or mezcal when I was in Mexico (seriously, what is my problem?).

      I think there are buds on some trees, but it’s a seriously slow start here. (I had the heat turned off for a couple days, then woke up the other morning freezing and was very sad.) C’mon spring!!

  4. says

    I am all over this cocktail. I have been circling the produce section like a vulture waiting for the rhubarb to show up (and it hasn’t yet! I just called all around town, though, and it sounds like I might be able to get my hands on some soon) because I have been wanting so badly to turn it into a cocktail. Your honey-rhubarb syrup sounds insanely good, so I might just have to set my own ideas aside and make a batch of this pronto. Come on, rhubarb, come on!

    • carey says

      You sound like me with ramps! Everyone has been posting pictures of them, even a local restaurant. Where are they???!?! The honey-rhubarb syrup is so tasty. I also love using the cold process method because I find rhubarb can get a little goopy when heat is involved, so this solves that. Sending good rhubarb ::vibes:: your way!! :)

  5. says

    It snowed in upstate NY today…I heard VT may have gotten a few flurries as well? This HAS to be the end.

    This pisco sour looks/sounds incredible. Beautiful photos as always! This post is reminding me that I need to make those genius sugar cubes!

    • carey says

      Thanks, Ali! Oh god, no…say it’s not true! This really is the never-ending winter. No flurries here in Burlington as of yet, but it seems cold enough for it to happen. Have mercy, Nature. UGH.

  6. says

    Girrrrrrl! These drinks are too pretty for words. The egg white in pisco sours always creeps me out a bit, but I would gladly face my fears for a sip of this lovely libation. Kudos!

    • carey says

      Thanks, Alanna! You’d definitely like these, especially with the less-than-normal egg white. :) (It’s a freaky hurdle to overcome, but it’s so good. Except for that one time I ordered a margarita at a local bar and somehow a bit of unblended egg white gunk wound up at the bottom of my glass and I sucked it up with those little straw stirrers when I took my first sip. I almost puked in my mouth and then I didn’t drink an egg white drinks for months. TRAUMATIZING.)

  7. says

    Gurl, this cocktail is everything. I love me a good pisco sour and I’m pretty positive I’d love a honey-rhubarb pisco sour more. I’ll be cheers-ing you from afar when we make these…or maybe…we could make some in NYC?!? Is that crazy talk?

  8. says

    Beautiful recipe, Carrie. I love rhubarb so much, but I have to admit I rarely cook with it at home. This looks like such a great spring recipe, and such a great excuse to bring some of those pretty pink stems into our home kitchen! Congrats on your Saver nomination!

  9. Joaquin says

    Hello! Great cocktail with a nice twist. Unfortunately in my country (Uruguay) is rare to find Rhubarb. Any sugestions to use instead for the syrup? Thanks

    • carey says

      Pomegranate would be a nice substitute of you’re able to find that (or pomegranate juice reduced down to a syrup would work).

  10. Pete says

    Great recipe idea, especially with summer upon us now & with more & more consumers being aware of Pisco these days. Quick question; Why do you use both lemon & lime juice in the recipe?

    • carey says

      The lemon and lime juice add different elements of sourness and flavor. I had originally swapped the measurements of each when I was recipe testing, and this version was markedly better.

  11. says

    These look wonderful, but what I’m really excited about is your recipe for the honey-rhubarb syrup! That could be a lot of fun to play with. Thank you!

  12. Fernanda says

    Pisco is about Pisco -ICA, pisco is not from Chile that is HOT WATER(AGUA ARDIENTE) , like in Peru we have to HOTWATER (AGUA ARDIENTE) from Trujillo, and other places, but PISCO IS FROM PISCO-Ica Perú that is the reason for his name.

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