Whether you make one drink or a pitcherful, these Sparkling Rhubarb Shrub Cocktails are a tasty and refreshing way to toast the warm weather!
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room before we go any further: what the heck is a ‘shrub’ and why would I ever want it in my cocktail? A shrub is basically a syrup made with fruit and vinegar. I’ve been seeing shrub cocktails everywhere, though any mention of vinegar in my happy hour beverage was a real turn off for me….until now. Since I’m always telling my kids they need to try foods before they declare their dislike for them, I stepped up to the plate and experimented with this recipe for Sparkling Rhubarb Shrub Cocktails. Holy cow, have I been missing out! These slightly sweet and sour sparklers are a refreshing way to embrace spring and all of those upcoming leisurely evenings on the patio. These cocktails must be made in advance, so allow yourself at least a day to pull the ingredients together. Not because there is anything difficult about the instructions; rather there is steeping time involved in making the shrub component, so plan accordingly. But that day-long soak in the fridge is about the extent of the heavy lifting for these drinks. The rest of the recipe is pretty straight forward – a generous pour of gin, a dose of tangy shrub, a hint of fresh lemon juice and a splash of club soda right before serving. Easy peasy! Plus this recipe is easily scalable as a batch cocktail for a party. Hmmmm. A round of drinks, a group of friends, warmer weather – I’m hard pressed to think of a better way to usher in the new season than with a tasty Sparkling Rhubarb Shrub Cocktail in hand. Cheers!
Sparkling Rhubarb Shrub Cocktail
- 1 pound frozen rhubarb, thawed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, packed
- 6 ounces red wine vinegar
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce rhubarb shrub
- 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 ounces club soda
To make the shrub:
- Place rhubarb, sugar and basil in a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Stir in vinegar, cover again and refrigerate for another three hours. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard rhubarb and basil and refrigerate shrub if not using immediately.
To make the cocktail:
- Place gin, shrub and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into coupe glass and top with club soda.
The shrub mixture will make 10-12 individual cocktails. Combine all cocktail ingredients except club soda in a pitcher if making a batch recipe. Top each glass with club soda when serving.