Friday, August 02, 2013

Rabarcello: Drinks on Friday

Recently on Facebook I asked for recommendations for favorite rhubarb dishes. I was surprised at how many people despise it. As previously mentioned, in my rhubarb compote recipe post, I love it. And I wrote a rhubarb post for 7x7 on some great places around town with innovative rhubarb creations. 

While 7x7 is a local publication, my post caught the attention of these rather handsome fellows in Amsterdam who make Mister Kitchen's Rabarcello, a Dutch spirit that is not yet available in the US. And they offered to send me a bottle. So I might be the only person in all of America to have some Dutch rhubarb liqueur! If not, please don't ruin the dream. It's only available in Holland, Belgium and the UK for now. It was created by food writers and product developers, and inspired by pink rhubarb lemonade (which also sounds lovely). Checking out their website I found out about a restaurant promotion called Rhubarb Week that featured rhubarb drinks and dishes. Heaven! 

If you've ever cooked rhubarb, you know it gives off the most beautiful pink syrup. That is the color of Rabarcello. It's something you can drink straight, on ice or it can be mixed. It is recommended with any kind of sparkling wine. It can be paired with other white spirits like vodka or gin, but I'm not a bartender so I'm just enjoying it very simply. It's 18% alcohol which is less than 40% proof and is made without any additives or preservatives so should be kept in the refrigerator and only lasts a few weeks. 

So what does it taste like? The very essence of rhubarb. It's bright, tangy and sweet, but not cloying and with a dry finish. It's rather refreshing. It has the floral quality of cooked rhubarb too. I've never had any other rhubarb liqueur, so I can't really compare it to anything else other than to say, it has a luscious viscosity and is a perfectly delightful and delicious thing to drink chilled on a sunny day. Here's hoping that Mister Kitchen's gets approval to sell it in the US soon.