Refreshing Rhubarb Cocktail with Tequila and Lime
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These easy pink rhubarb cocktails made with fresh rhubarb are perfect to celebrate the arrival of spring and warm weather. Cheers!
This is a thirst-quenching fresh rhubarb cocktail, made with fresh rhubarb stalks.
It’s mixed with an easy homemade rhubarb syrup and tequila (or gin), fresh lime and a dash of vermouth.
If you’re not a fan of sweet-on-sweet cocktails, this one is for you!
Where does rhubarb grow?
Rhubarb needs cold weather to thrive (unlike many humans 🙂 so it’s usually found in climates with a winter season.
But greenhouse-grown rhubarb is also a thing, which makes it easier to be grown and distributed commercially, rather than as a backyard plant.
I lived in the Upper Midwest in Minneapolis for a few years, and the sight of that rhubarb coming up was like a beacon on a cold, dark night.
Rhubarb would appear weeks before trees budded and flowers bloomed, the first hopeful sign of spring.
Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable?
Although rhubarb is technically a vegetable, cooks often treat it as a fruit.
I definitely do, and love to baking it into tarts and cakes — like these Big Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble Muffins, which are like personal-size coffeecakes.
When you’re shopping for rhubarb, choose stalks that are red or pink colored, rather than mostly green.
Those stalks will make a prettier pink syrup.
I love the infusion of color red rhubarb gives to this drink, along with its sweet-tart earthiness.
That pleasant sourness seems to match up perfectly with the slightly bitter herbal flavors in dry vermouth and tequila.
The leftover rhubarb pulp doesn’t look as pretty as the syrup, kind of sludgy and beige, but it does taste delicious.
Stir it into yogurt or a bowl of creamy oats — it’s definitely worth saving.
Refreshing Rhubarb Cocktail with Tequila and Lime
- ½ pound (225 g) rhubarb, chopped
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
- 1 long strip of lemon or orange peel
Rhubarb Lime Cocktail
- Juice of 1/2 a lime, plus thinly sliced lime for garnish
- 2 ounces (60 ml) ice cold tequila or gin
- 2 ounces (60 ml) dry white vermouth
- 2 ounces (60 ml) Rhubarb Syrup
- Dash of bitters ([Peychauds]
Make the syrup:
- Place the rhubarb, sugar, water and and citrus peel in a small pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the rhubarb becomes very soft, 12-15 minutes.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer set over a bowl to let the syrup run through. Stir gently to expedite the process, but try not to push too hard or the solids will cloud the syrup. Cool before using. Refrigerate for a up to week or two.
Mix the drink:
- Combine ingredients for cocktail in a shaker with ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with lime wheel.
Karen's Notes and Tips
- The rhubarb syrup recipe will yield more than enough for 4 drinks. Double the batch for a party.
- Stir extra syrup into sparkling water for a non-alcoholic cocktail or pour over fresh strawberries and yogurt.
- If you prefer, switch out the gin for tequila or vodka.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.
Loved! Had leftover rhubarb and found this recipie. We opted to make with gin..delicious, unexpected and beautiful in appearance.
Loved the rhubarb syrup. Hated to just toss the mash away so I kept it in the fridge for a few days; was good on pancakes with maple syrup. Would have been nice with a pound cake. I did not make the cocktail quite as written; I didn’t have any vermouth handy so went with triple sec and tequila for a ‘rhubarb margarita’. I also didn’t use the 1:1 ratio but 2 oz tequila / 3/4 triple sec. Even if I had vermouth, I would not have gone for a 1:1.
My new favorite summertime cocktail! If you’re making the rhubarb syrup with frozen rhubarb reduce the water by half.
Hi! I’m in love with the glass you’re serving this in- where did you get it from?
Thanks – it’s from CB2! https://bit.ly/2SplfQK
Help please! The directions do not say, but do I cook the syrup concoction before straining? I love rhubarb!
Hi Sharon – so sorry about that! The step was deleted by accident. Yes, cook the combination until soft according the Step 1 which I’ve updated. Thank you and cheers!
Hi – I just want to let you know I made this cocktail today with the fresh rhubarb from our yard. I had my doubts about the ratio of ingredients, but went ahead anyway. I was wrong. These were extraordinarily delicious and were a big hit with the family. Will definitely be in the rotation of springtime cocktails. Thanks so much!
I have a large rhubarb patch. In addition to rhubarb strawberry pies and rhubarb orange ginger jam (an old family recipe), I make lots of rhubarb syrup for summer drinks. You can freeze the syrup in an ice cube tray, then dump the cubes into a freezer bag and you can have rhubarb syrup all year. Just remember to defrost however much syrup you need in advance!
Saw your response and am intrigued by the mention of orange rhubarb ginger jam. That sounds delicious!
Would you be willing to share your recipe??
This is the second rhubarb drink I have seen today. Clearly the recipe gods are trying to tell me something. I’m curious though, if you don’t happen to use all the syrup, have you had success holding on to it for another night?
Your rhubarb cocktail looks wonderful. It’s so great to have summery flavors back again!
Hi Karen! I’m so happy I found you through Instagram. Love your blog/website too and will definitely spend time here getting inspired by all the beautiful images and recipes! Everything looks like it’s right up my alley – so so good!