A refreshingly tart, low calorie, and non-alcoholic summer drink, in a lovely natural pale pink. Luella Godman told me this delicious recipe when we stayed at Avonlea, her Connemara horse farm on Gotland. It takes four days to brew on the counter top, but is worth the wait.
5 to 8 stalks of rhubarb, washed and chopped into 1″ pieces
3 lemons, washed, sliced into thin slices
3 pieces of fresh ginger, each about the size of your thumb, roughly peeled and chopped
Place the rhubarb pieces, lemon slices, and chopped fresh ginger into a large crock with a lid, or a deep metal stockpot with cover. Pour two large kettles-full of boiling water over them, and cover. Let rest for four days at room temperature.
On the fourth day make a simple syrup by placing one cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan and adding 1 cup water. Heat until it boils, stirring once in while to make certain the sugar crystals are completely dissolved. While this is cooling slightly, strain out the rhubarb, lemon, and ginger from the crock. Add the simple syrup to sweeten to taste. (I like it rather tart, so only use about 1/2 cup of the syrup.) Pour or ladle into bottles or jars and refrigerate. Serve cold. A spring of mint or a lemon slice makes a nice extra touch.
While this is not an authentic medieval recipe for Gotland – in the 9th century the lemons would have have to come from the Middle East, and been unimaginably dear – you might recall that Ceridwen was given a slice of fresh ginger by one of the Idrisid slave women to help ease her sea-sickness in The Claiming. That said, Luella’s Rhubarb Ginger Cooler makes an unusual, and pretty drink, which I think you’ll enjoy.
Have you got your copy of The Circle of Ceridwen Cookery Book(let)? Ten authentic delicious and easy 9th century recipes from the Saga. Your free copy awaits!