Whenever I prepare a rhubarb sauce for dessert I add more water than the usually needed for the cooking. Later I strain the juice into a little crystal jug and put it apart. I love to pour a sip of this essence into my water. It's a refreshing, mouth-puckering springtime beverage. Even the boring oatmeal for breakfast becomes a perfumed extravaganza, if you substitute part of the milk by rhubarb essence.
Don't be disappointed if the juice initially shows a different colour than in my photo (less colourful, I guess). The rhubarb needs to cool down and to repose a few hours before the juice develops the beautiful coral-red colour.
Aqua Fresca scented with Rhubarb, Rose and Vanilla
4 rose-red, fresh stalks of rhubarb, trimmed and sliced
3 tablespoons demerara sugar
a dash of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rose water
1/2 l water
Put the ingredients into a saucepan and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool down and repose. Strain the juice into a recipient. I store it in the fridge for max. 3 days.
The flavours of rose water and vanilla harmonize perfectly with the rhubarb. Just make sure to not use too much of the "perfumes". By any means rhubarb must remain the diva!