The Rhubarb Sour
Long stalks of rhubarb are one of the first things that come to mind when I think of spring, so why not have a rhubarb cocktail to help usher in the season?
A few weeks in to spring, I’ll begin to see rhubarb on stands at the market, and then shortly after, it will be on the shelves at the grocery store. After a winter that has dragged its heels for months, the sight of rhubarb is certainly long overdue. It’s one ingredient that I start playing with in the beginning of spring to create new, fresh recipes as we turn the page on winter.
By itself, rhubarb has a strong, tart taste, which is why recipes often call for sugar to balance out the flavour. So, I decided to follow those same guidelines. This drink is made with rhubarb bitters, fresh lime juice, smoky gin, and fresh, tart rhubarb, which is balanced in a honey simple syrup mixture. It’s a bit of a more subtle take on a fresh and sweet spring cocktail. I made a batch before leaving for a short working vacation. Now that we’re back, I’m gearing up for spring to return, and I am looking forward to a few more Rhubarb Sours shared with friends.
The Rhubarb Sour
Yield: 1 drink
Glassware: small rock glass
Tools: cocktail shaker, jigger, fine sieve
2 fl oz (60ml) gin
1 fl oz (30ml) lime juice
2 fl oz (60ml) plus 1 tsp (5 ml) rhubarb simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/2 fl oz (15ml) rhubarb bitters
1 fl oz (30ml) lemon lime soda
lime wheels, for garnish
1. Pour all ingredients into an ice-packed cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
2. Strain into a rock glass filled with ice. Top with rhubarb simple syrup and a lime wheel.
Ingredients for Rhubarb Simple Syrup:
4 rhubarb stalks, chopped
1/2 cup (235 ml) honey
1 cup (235 ml) water
1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir often.
2. Strain through a fine sieve over a bowl, using a spoon to press down on the rhubarb to extract as much liquid as possible. Let cool and refrigerate until required.
Mike Lewicki is a contributor at The Boys Club and blogger at Verses From My Kitchen.