Business partners since 2017 and “sisters since birth,” Belinda Kelly and Venise Cuinningham launched Simple Goodness Sisters last year, producing farm-fresh, garden-inspired cocktail syrups outside of Seattle. While Kelly also runs Happy Camper Cocktail Co. — a mobile, rentable cocktail bar out of a vintage trailer —Cuinningham and her husband Ross run the Simple Goodness Farm in Buckley, Washington, which is the base for many of the namesake syrups.
“We seek to persevere the fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest and bring them from our farm to your bar,” Cuinningham says. “Our products allow everyone to enjoy garden to glass goodness, with easy-to-use, locally sourced cocktail mixers that are full of flavor and nothing else.”
In The Genevieve, the sisters find inspiration from the garden, both their own and those in the surrounding, rural area to make the rhubarb vanilla syrup that blooms in the cocktail. “Just down the hill from our own farm is Sumner, the little known Rhubarb capital of the world,” Cuinningham says. “Rhubarb is one of the first crops ready in this area each spring, so it is an exiting symbol of the tasty drinks and warm months ahead for us. We love to combine it with vanilla bean to balance rhubarb’s sour nature.”
Named for a friend who made this cocktail a staple for the Happy Camper event menu, the combination of rhubarb’s refreshingly sour nature and acidity with the sweetness of the vanilla bean makes it the perfect match for the sweet-sour profile of this twist on a French 75.
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces Batch 206 Counter Gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Simple Goodness Sisters Rhubarb Vanilla Syrup*
1 ounce brut sparkling wine
Garnish: thin slice rhubarb
Combine the gin, lemon juice and syrup in a shaker of ice, shake for 20 seconds or until the outside of the shaker is chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and top with the sparkling wine. Garnish.
*Rhubarb Vanilla Syrup
Makes 2 cups
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until boiling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is softened and the vanilla bean is evenly distributed in the syrup. Then strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to keep rhubarb bits out and remove the spent vanilla pod. Store closed and refrigerated for up to 1 month.