BELLOWS FALLS — It's rhubarb season. It's strawberry season. While the first thing that might come to mind is a pie or a crisp, these spring crops also combine beautifully to make a refreshing beverage that is a little sweet, a little tart, and quite pretty.
This punch is perfect to bring along on a picnic or enjoy at a cookout or other gathering. It is quick to make, and you can store it in the refrigerator for a week, if it lasts that long.
Put a kettle of water on, and heat to just before the boiling:
¶1 quart water
In a heat-proof pitcher, add the water to:
¶4 hibiscus tea bags, or loose equivalent
Let this steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bags and set aside.
In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine:
¶4 cups rhubarb, about a pound, chopped
¶8 ounces strawberries, chopped
¶1 cup sugar
¶Pinch of salt
¶1 more quart of water
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain, cool, then add to the hibiscus tea with:
¶2 Tbsp. lemon juice
To serve, drink as is over ice, or add sparkling water or club soda. A spring of mint is nice here, too.
Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade: Just mix the punch with lemonade half and half, or whatever proportion you like.
Party Punch: To make a punch for a crowd, double the recipe and add a quart of orange juice. Mix with ginger ale, and float strawberry and lemon slices.