Rhubarb and Gin and Tonic and Me!

It’s time for me to pick a signature cocktail of my own to help define the upcoming season. Rhubarb Gin and Tonic.

This is a new tradition for Sup! so I want to choose something that will be just right for all the outdoor activities I have planned. This concept was the brainchild of the girls at LoveFeast Table.

You see they choose a cocktail every summer that sets the tone for the warm weather festivities. They asked me to help them this year and I was happy to oblige them by creating something just for them.

So one week ago today I presented my version of a Long Island Iced Tea. It’s called a Tickled Pink Tropical Island Iced Tea. If you remember it was a pretty girly drink– despite the crazy amount of alcohol in it. So it’s not quite the cocktail that Sup! would feel comfortable grasping in his manly hand night after night, week after week, month after month this whole summer long.

But I will let you in on a secret. It seems that my girly cocktail was a big hit. I don’t just mean with LoveFeast either. It seems you guys really drank my cocktail up in massive quantities! That post got more than twice my usual traffic the day it came out. It has taken an entire week for my numbers to taper back down to normal.

Well I’ll drink to that!

Rhubarb Gin and Tonic

But in truth when the thermometer begins to rise, the cocktail I most typically pour into my summer glass is the good old G&T– Gin and Tonic! I like its crisp, herbal nature. Sure it’s got the kick of gin but I like them light enough to be able to enjoy more than one when the mood strikes. That’s a perfect summer cocktail in my mind.

So for the drink that will define the summer at Sup’s! house this year I have decided to tweak this classic just enough to see a spike in my traffic, and I am doing that tweaking with rhubarb. You heard me right, rhubarb.

The flavor of rhubarb is clean. It is perfectly bracing and very tart. Rhubarb starts showing up about this time every year and will usually last the summer. Which is why it’s so surprising that rhubarb is a relatively rare ingredient in cocktails. But it’s not unheard of. That is because rhubarb has that bit of biting sourness that so many classic cocktails call for. It has a strong tannic quality too so it’s a perfect substitute for citrus. It offers a terrific balance between too much or too little ‘tang’, which is the very thing that defines those sour summer cocktails.

So I bring to you a Rhubarb Gin and Tonic. It’s the perfect cocktail to relax with after a long hard day by the pool. Just kick of those flip-flops and settle in for a zesty pick-me-up.

Now I’d like to claim that this creation is original to this blog and me. But that would just not be the case. You see I was first inspired by rhubarb in a cocktail by Brad MacDonald. He calls his a Rhubarb Haze. I used his recipe as a jumping off point in my rhubarb cocktail adventure. I changed ratios and the balance. I even experimented with different spirits and liqueurs. But, in the end, I came back to his vision for this cocktail… because, try as I might I could not really improve upon it!

rhubarbRhubarb Gin and Tonic serves 1 CLICK here for a printable version

Pour bitters into a Collins style glass, swirl to coat and discard the excess. Fill the glass 1/2 way with ice cubes. Combine gin, tonic, rhubrab juice and simple syrup. Stir. Garnish with rhubarb and or lemon verbena

Rhubarb Gin and Tonic


Greg Henry