When it comes to distinctly spring flavors, Rhubarb is one of the first things that pops to mind. I used to stay far away from the tart veggie after summers of eating it raw from my grandmothers garden left me with a bad taste in my mouth (literally). As an adult however, I try to challenge myself to re-try things that I once thought I disliked… Rhubarb being one of them.
I am not known for turning down cocktails, so after trying a rhubarb margarita concoction (which I loved) I decided to try making some other cocktail varieties for you guys who are able to find some rhubarb in the market. We have three very different drinks for you to try, starting with a ‘Pink Sparkler’.
The Pink Sparkler uses a classic combination of strawberry and rhubarb to create a base of sweet flavor. Topped with a crisp sparkling wine, this cocktail becomes well rounded.
Next on the list is a Rhubarb Gin Fizz. Classic Gin Fizzes use lemon or lime juice with superfine sugar, but I’ve subbed the sugar for simple syrup here to integrate the rhubarb flavor and still add sweetness. Your typical recipe might call for egg white too, but I opted out for this recipe. The result is a very light, tart drink that isn’t overpowering.
Lastly, the Rhubarb Rum Punch is my favorite of the bunch. It tastes like a spring vacation. Orange juice cuts the tartness and a lingering rum flavor adds a slightly tropical twist. It doesn’t look beautiful, so if you don’t like the muddy yellow color, mix a bit of grenadine in.
All in all, it was a lot of fun creating these recipes and you’ll notice that they all use one common ingredient – Rhubarb Simple Syrup. It’s easy to make, just chop up 2 stems of rhubarb and add it to 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling until all sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a simmer and let the rhubarb flavor meld for about 5-10 more minutes. Strain to remove the rhubarb chunks and let it cool.
It’s pretty easy to make flavor infused syrups. Look for some local rhubarb in your area and give it a try!