Whether you’re cooking or making cocktails, for a living or as a hobby, it’s no secret that working with seasonal products makes a big difference in the quality of your recipe. For a long time now, many restaurants been offering seasonal/from farm to table menu and recently, some bars also adopted that approach. I find this very motivating. On the one hand, it’s a challenge to work with ingredients when they are in season. You have to build your inspiration around what’s available at the moment, but at the same time it gives you a direction which can help you in your creative process.

For the past few years now, every time rhubarb is in season, I challenge myself to create a new cocktail recipe, inspired by this ephemeral seasonal wonder! The availability of this fabulous product is so short, such as many more like flowers or berries … so do not hesitate to make some jam, marinades or pickling to have some available all year long.

Speaking of tips and tricks to have some seasonal ingredients available all year long, I have to give a special shout out to my new friends at Morille Quebec, a local company specialized in wild mushrooms, flowers and plants. They gave me a little sample of their latest elderflowers harvest. Since it dates back to last spring already, they dried the flowers which is a clever way to keep your herbs and plants if your “crop” grew more than what you can use. Also, keep in mind that a seasonal product transformed to be kept for a longer period will always taste better than a fresh off-season product. Think of the last time you bought strawberries when they were not in season. Weren’t they flavourless? Next time you’re in need, I recommend you buy frozen ones. At least they were harvested in season so they will taste better.

Enough said, it’s time for the recipe… almost!

Let me introduce you to this year’s seasonal wonder cocktail. As the elderflowers are dried spring flowers while the rhubarb is a summer plant harvested when the weather is still a bit fresh and cool in the morning, it made me wonder: Is a dry spring always precedes a fresh summer? In Quebec it’s a cultural thing to try guessing the weather based on some nonsense scenarios. So because I believe we all like to make our own prediction when it comes to weather, I called my cocktail the “weather forecasts”

Cheers!

Jean-Félix

Weather Forecast Cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 oz Tanqueray No Ten gin
  • 1 oz Homemade elderflower cordial (recipe below)
  • ¾ oz Aperol
  • ¾ oz Fresh rhubarb juice

METHOD:

  1. Pour all ingredients in a shaker.
  2. Fill with ice and shake for about 10 seconds.
  3. Fine strain in a chilled cocktail coupe.
  4. Garnish with rhubarb ribbons.

Homemade elderflower cordial recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 gr Dried Elderflowers (from Morille Quebec in my case) Instagram link
  • 5 gr Tartaric acid
  • 15 gr Citric acid
  • 250 gr Sugar
  • 600 ml Water

METHOD:

  1. Put all ingredients in a seal-tight container.
  2. Infuse for 18 hours in the fridge.
  3. Using a coffee filter, strain the mixture.
  4. Bottle and keep in the fridge up to one month.

Cocktails with seasonal rhubarbThis is a selection of bar tools I’m dying to get for myself. I even went further in my shopping and found some amazing home decor pieces that would make your home bar, a dream bar.

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