Lovage and Rhubarb Spritzers
We got the idea for these spritzers after a dinner at Monsoon. One of the salads featured candied lovage - and given how much lovage we have in our garden, we were curious what they were doing with it. We didn't order the salad that night - too much geoduck sashimi already - but I asked the waiter if he could snatch me a little taste so I could figure out what it was. He brought back a tiny bowl of lovage stems that had been soaked in simple syrup.
Our use of lovage has been limited to the leaves in things like stocks and roasted chickens - neither of us had ever thought to use the stems. We went home and made a simple syrup and soaked the stems in the syrup for about an hour (off the heat) and then added the syrup to a little sparkling water. It was cool and refreshing, and a nice change from Doc Brown's Cel-Ray soda!
Just because we were already in the mode, we did the same thing with a little bit of rhubarb. That didn't have as strong a flavor after it had been soaking, and I found we had to add a dash of lemon juice to the spritzer to brighten it up a bit.
Herbed Simple Syrup
1 part sugar
1 part water
2 - 8" stems of lovage, sliced (or rhubarb)
Lemon juice (optional)
- Dissolve the sugar in the water and cook until clear.
- Add the fruit to the syrup mixture and cook for 1 - 2 minutes, and then remove from the heat.
- Steep the fruit in the syrup for an hour.
- Add a tablespoon of the syrup and fruit and a spritz of lemon juice to a glass of sparkling water and enjoy!