Rhubarb Bloom Cocktail

Hello, my name is Jenn and I’m a frozen fruit hoarder. There – I admitted it. I spend all summer stocking the freezer full of locally grown fruits and berries to be enjoyed in the winter months (13 gallons worth, last summer). I then miserly dole the fruit out – a batch of sorbet here, a fruit crumble there…and then one morning, I wake up and it’s March. Crocuses are peeking out from under melting snow, and the promise of Spring is in the air. I still have about 10 gallons of fruit in the freezer – Yikes! Β It’s time to bust out those bright fruits and enjoy last summer’s harvest as we await the new growing season! So if a bunch of summery recipes suddenly appear on the blog, know that I’m doing the hard labor of eating my fruits and veggies (a tough job, I know).

Amongst the bits and bobs lurking deep in my freezer drawer are a couple gallons of diced rhubarb. I love the stuff – it’s the first fruit of spring, and it means Grandma’s apple rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is forever bound to my memories of visits to my grandparents’ house. When they lived out on Van Dyke St, Grandpa had a HUGE garden (or so it seemed to my tiny self), and rhubarb was the first crop out of the field. I remember sitting in the grass with a tiny dish of sugar for dipping the rhubarb in and eating. My jaw aches a little just thinking about eating those puckery stalks raw. Later, when Grandma moved into town, the rhubarb went with her. Summer visits to Grandma’s house inevitably ended with my Mom and Grandma bent over the rhubarb patch and dropping the cut stalks into a paper grocery sack.

At our house, strawberry-rhubarb sauce was the favorite application – served in small bowls for breakfast, or spooned over vanilla ice cream. As I was scanning through Tastespotting.com last weekend, I came across Edible Portland’s recipe for rhubarb syrup & cocktails. The photo of the beautiful pink syrup was enough to send me into the kitchen to start making the syrup. And of course the cocktails soon followed.

As most of my friends know, a homemade margarita from fresh squeezed limes is my cocktail of choice – preferably sipped on our balcony overlooking Lake Michigan. I have to say, the Rhubarb Bloom might be stealing the ‘rita from the top spot in our house. The sweet-tart rhubarb syrup and lime juice are a perfect foil for the botanical gin. Shaken vigorously with ice and a few basil leaves, and you’ve got an outstandingly refreshing drink for Spring.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy the bounty of Spring rhubarb? Share in the comments below!

Rhubarb syrup
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
  1. Combine all in a small saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and strain the liquid, pressing firmly on the rhubarb solids to extract all the tart juice. Save the solids for use in a pie or sorbet. Keep the syrup in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Rhubarb Bloom Cocktail
1oz rhubarb simple syrup

1/2oz lime juice
1 1/2oz gin
3 basil leaves
cocktail shaker

Scoop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Add the rhubarb syrup, lime juice, gin and basil leaves. Close the shaker and shake vigorously for a minute or two, then strain into two chilled glasses, ice is optional.

15 thoughts on “Rhubarb Bloom Cocktail

  1. This looks delicious. I went to a party at a friend’s recently and she made something similar – rhubarb mojitos. I think I would really like rhubarb with basil though!

  2. I love this cocktail! I know if I had more freezer space I would have the same problem. As it is, I’ve still got got a 1/2 gallon of rhubarb and 1 gallon of strawberries. Now I know what purpose the rhubarb will serve πŸ™‚ Last spring I made some yummy rhubarb lemonade and served with vodka; may try that again this spring with gin instead.

  3. I’ve never tried a hand at making home-made cocktails. I’m sick of having screw drivers and would honestly love a better way to enjoy my Friday evening weekly drink.

    I also adore gin! It was the first alcohol my dad allowed me to taste at age 14, with lemonade, and I fell in love with it right away.

    I’m gonna try this the next time I have a party at home. Looks so yum! Also – it’s quite a girlie drink isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    • Haha! It is kind of girly! But let the guys do the manly bit with the shaker, and maybe they can handle it. Both guys we served these to went back for seconds, so I think they passed muster. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Heather! I’ve got blueberries too…I need to make those meyer lemon blueberry pancakes you posted – YUM. Might do that tomorrow, since I have a captive guest to cook for! πŸ™‚

  4. Jenn,

    Doesn’t this look delicious? I am making the syrup today with the first rhubarb of the year from the farmers market.

    I just noticed on your simple syrup recipe, the water and the sugar measurements are flipped from the one in Edible Portland.

    I’ll have to try this once basil is in season.


    • Dang! Right you are on the measuring typo, Eric! Not the first time I’ve flipped proportions on things, either….I’ve made 3 batches of the syrup now, all using the wrong proportions! I corrected it above, and will try it the “right” way next time!

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