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Rhubarb: It's Not Just for Pie Anymore
Right Food for the Season - Early Summer
Written by Michelle Lahey   

Rhubarb season may be over, but if you saved some stalks from your CSA in June - or, if you're already eagerly awaiting spring for the next rhubarb bounty - then this post's for you.


Fans of rhubarb know that it is one misunderstood vegetable. It took rhubarb awhile to convince people it wasn't a fruit, then it was given the nickname "pie plant." It's still a challenge for this vegetable to break from its stereotypes, but once rhubarb fans try it with some gin, they may never bake another strawberry-rhubarb pie again.

Mixing this beloved vegetable in a refreshing cocktail is as simple as syrup. Just bring rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, strain and enjoy in your favorite drink. The tart flavor of the rhubarb complements the sweetness of the syrup perfectly. Paired with some torn mint leaves (which were grown in this sipper's very own backyard), some of your favorite gin (here, Bombay Sapphire was used) and some bubbly tonic water, this vibrant, deep pink syrup will be sure to carry your cocktail cravings through the rest of the summer.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup (source)

5 oz. rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 cup)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups water

Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rhubarb is falling apart and the color has bled into the syrup.

Remove from the heat and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain and discard the rhubarb chunks. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a resealable container. Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.


rhubarb cocktail

Rhubarb-Mint Cocktail

Yields: 2 cocktails 

6-7 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped 

Ice cubes

2 oz. gin

1 oz. rhubarb simple syrup

Tonic water 

Place mint leaves in two glasses (whiskey glass-sized). Fill both glasses with ice.

In a cocktail shaker, add gin and rhubarb simple syrup; shake lightly. 

Pour cocktail over the mint leaves and ice cubes. Fill the glasses the rest of the way with tonic water. Stir and enjoy. 




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