I’m a sucker for great packaging. Slap a nicely designed label on something, and there’s a good chance I’ll look at it, and maybe buy it.
This past Sunday Domenico and I went over to Cafe Settembrini for a late morning cappucino. I hadn’t been there for a few months, and so was curious to see how the newly opened cafe, opened by the owners of the restaurant Settembrini, was doing. One of the biggest changes is that it’s looking more ‘lived in.’ There is more ‘stuff’ that gives it a very cozy, lived in feeling. And by ‘stuff’, of course I mean stuff to buy. Jars of jams, bottles of sauces, chocolates, nuts.
While we were waiting for our cappucino at the banco, I of course started eyeing the bottles behind the bar. I’m always curious what bars stock, what their range is. After scanning the hard stuff, I saw a whole wall in the back with juices and soda. I was happy to see Balladin’s Ginger (first time I’d seen it anywhere in Rome). Next to it was a great looking bottle, of rose colored liquid with a crisply designed label that I couldn’t quite read.
Sneaking behind the counter, I realized it was Rhubarb juice. Cool! I’d never heard of this, much less seen it. So of course, I grabbed a bottle and brought one home. (don’t worry, I paid for it.)
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, since I’d never tasted rhubarb juice before. The first sip was sweet, but not too much. But it also had very strong vegetable notes, almost tomatoey, which was a bit strange. I had expected something much more tangy and sour.
The strongest impression was floral, so I went with that. Gin seemed a natural choice. And an egg white to give it body, since it was a bit ‘thin’. Domenico had picked a few limon di pica off the tree on the terrace, so they were going in for sure. And just a few drops of orange bitters to pull it all together.
4 oz. Gin
1 small limon di pica (or a half lime)
8 oz Rhubarb Juice
1 egg white
Pour gin into cocktail shaker, and add limon or lime, cut in wedges. Muddle well. Add rhubarb juice and egg white.
Put top on shaker and shake well, stopping every so often to open, and let air escape. Once a good foam has formed, add ice and give a few more shakes to chill.
Pour into 2 glasses. Top with bitters and serve.