Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


At the Locabar: Rhubarb Thyme Tonic

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Friday night is cocktail night at our house thanks to my husband Charlie, a master mixologist, and those of us who eagerly gather each week to taste. This week we decided to try our hand at a mostly local cocktail. We’ve been working on a drink using rhubarb and now I think we’re on to something special. Charlie likes to use lots of fresh ingredients and his drinks are incredibly healthy, or so we like to tell ourselves.

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We have rhubarb in our garden but you can also buy it now at the Farmers Market. The first step in this cocktail is to make the rhubarb juice. I was inspired by Kate Zuckerman in her beautiful book, The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle. She uses the juice for a fruit soup, but since it’s Friday my mind is on a cocktail instead.

rhubarbcoctail4 of 37 Start out with 8-10 medium stalks of rhubarb. Wash, trim off the ends, and chop into 1/2″ pieces.

In a medium saucepan, combine the rhubarb, 11/2 cups water and 3/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes. Do not stir. Remove from the heat and let it sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.

Drape cheesecloth over a strainer and set over a bowl. Pour the rhubarb into the strainer and let the liquid drain for 15 minutes.

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To chill the juice, set the bowl in a larger container of ice water or refrigerate. You can save the remaining pulp for another use (rhubarb crisp or rhubarb thyme jam).

The next step is to mix the drink. In keeping with the local theme, we used Aviation Gin which is batch distilled in Portland, OR. Fill each glass with cracked ice. Pour in 2 oz rhubarb juice and 2 oz gin for each drink. Top off with tonic to taste and stir gently. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and make a toast to Friday night.

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8 Responses »

  1. Wow! That not only sounds delicious but looks divine! Out of the box invention and beautiful presentation! Makes me think we need to plan a trip to Seattle…

  2. What a gorgeous looking cocktail! And so perfect for the season. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  3. Muy Bueno, muy Delicioso!

    The blog looks gorgeous and is so well written.

    Does our sister Lale know about it ?

  4. I’m excited about the rhubarb cocktail. We actually have rhubarb almost ready to harvest (and 10 of the very first asparagus and ……. well that’s about it here in Ontario!) I love both colour and taste of everything rhubarb. For me it’s the first flag of all things fabulous in the garden that are yet-to-come. So, I will do this soon for sure. I can even imagine that a virgin variety might be tasty. Thanks.

  5. P.S. Hi Sal!

  6. Annie, thanks for reminding me. This also makes an excellent mocktail.

  7. I am new to your blog and am loving it. I just noticed my juicy rhubarb stems today and am chomping at the bit to make this tonic.
    The link to the rhubarb thyme jam doesn’t seem to be working. I’d love to see that recipe.

  8. Joline, Welcome to Mixed Greens — hope you’ll stop by often. Thanks for letting me know about the link to rhubarb thyme jam, it should be fixed now. It’s definitely worth checking out — one of our favorites.