Rhubarb cocktail 1 by Kimberley Stakal

Ready to imbibe in a summer cocktail that’s old-school, sophisticated and from the garden all at once? So are we. This recipe for Rosemary Rhubarb Cocktail is a throwback to the old-fashioned gin fizz cocktail, but without the egg. It’s one insanely crisp and refreshing drink to sip on while weeding the backyard or listening to jazz on the patio. Here’s how it’s done.

There are a few great cocktail recipes out there that use homemade rhubarb syrup or strained rhubarb puree. In this recipe, though, you make a rhubarb puree and don’t strain it. (We know, kind of radical.) What happens, though, is that the fruit puree mixes with your liquor and soda and makes a thick, frothy drink—not at all unlike the classic cocktail gin fizz.

Gin fizz normally has egg whites in it, which is what gives it that velvety frothy goodness. Here, we’ve skipped the egg whites altogether. But you still get a comparable frothy fizz from the rhubarb puree, all whisked up with the bubbly soda. Give it a shot; we had excellent results.

Rosemary Rhubarb Cocktail Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail (plus about 3 cups rhubarb puree)

Ingredients

6 stalks rhubarb, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (reserving 1 slice of whole orange for garnish)
¼ cup honey
2 rosemary sprigs, plus more for garnish
1 ½ ounces gin (or tequila or rum)
2 ice cubes
Soda, to taste (lemon-lime soda for sweet, or plain club soda for not-so-sweet)

Method

Rhubarb cocktail 2 by Kimberley Stakal

Combine rhubarb, orange juice, honey and rosemary in a medium stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook, covered, until very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Rhubarb cocktail 3 by Kimberley Stakal

Transfer rhubarb mixture to a food processor; puree until smooth. Set aside ¼ cup to use for cocktail; place remaining puree in a sealed jar and store in refrigerator 1 to 2 weeks.

Rhubarb cocktail 4 by Kimberley Stakal

To prepare the cocktail: Dip the rim of a lowball glass in a small plate of water; dip in a small plate of sugar (to sugar-coat the rim). Place 2 ice cubes in glass.

Combine reserved ¼ cup rhubarb puree and liquor of choice in a shaker or tall glass; whisk well. Pour into prepared lowball glass. Top off with soda of choice; whisk again gently.

Rhubarb cocktail 5 by Kimberley Stakal

Garnish with a rosemary sprig and orange slice. Serve immediately.

Rhubarb cocktail 6 by Kimberley Stakal

Note: To make this summer cocktail as a non-alcoholic version (either for yourself or the kiddos), simply omit the liquor and use more soda of choice. Even adults will find this alcohol-free version incredibly refreshing.

All images by Kimberley Stakal

Stay in touch with Kimberley on Twitter @GreenGourmetKim