Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


Back to the Locabar: Rhubarb Margarita

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I’ve been hinting for weeks that I wanted a special cocktail for my birthday. Last summer we got so used to fresh, seasonal ingredients that our long winter presented a special challenge for the Cocktail Study Club. More often than not, Friday night rolled around and Charlie would say, “How about a martini?” I love his martinis but enough is enough.  For my birthday, I was yearning for something sweet, tangy, complex and festive — something I could at least picture myself sipping on a beach somewhere, even if it was more likely I’d be sipping in front of our wood stove. It was just about this time last year we created the Rhubarb Thyme Tonic. Our Rhubarb Margarita starts with the same rhubarb simple syrup and has a newly invented step that makes this drink a winner — muddling a stalk of raw rhubarb in the shaker first with a tiny bit of sugar & a splash of tequila.

rhubarbmargarita32 of 42 You may be wondering about eating the little bits of muddled raw rhubarb. I was too, so I checked and found out that although the leaves contain oxalic acid and should not be eaten, the stalks, though mouth-puckering sour, are completely edible raw. Rhubarb is so fresh & tender right now, this is your moment. Later in the season, when the stalks may be tougher, you can always strain the muddled bits out, if you prefer.

rhubarbmargarita23 of 42 Let’s start mixing. This recipe is for two drinks since this isn’t the kind of drink you are going to want to drink alone.

Rhubarb Margaritas for 2

4 oz tequila — Charlie uses 2 oz silver & 2 oz gold

1 1/2 oz rhubarb simple syrup (recipe below) or 2 oz if you like yours sweeter

1 1/2 oz triple sec, orange curacao or other orange liquor

Juice of 1/2 lemon & 1/2 lime

1 small stalk of fresh rhubarb

1/2 t sugar

Edible flower garnish — violets, johnny jump-ups

Slice the stalk of rhubarb in 1/4″ slices. Put it in the shaker with sugar and splash of tequila. Muddle it until it’s broken into small bits.

Fill shaker with plenty of ice.

Measure & add the remaining ingredients — tequila, rhubarb simple syrup, orange liquor, lemon & lime juice.

Shake vigorously and pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with edible flowers.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

8-10 medium stalks of rhubarb

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water

Slice rhubarb into 1/2″ slices. Put in a saucepan with sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Do not stir. Remove from heat and let it sit, undisturbed for 10 minutes. Place in a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Let it drain into the bowl for 15 minutes or until it has stopped draining. Pour finished syrup into a covered container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. If you need to cool it quickly, place the bowl into a larger metal bowl filled with ice water.

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As the seasons progress, we’ll continue to make variations of this drink — adding strawberries, raspberries, peaches and nectarines, pretty much any local fruit.

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But for now, I’m ready to celebrate….spring and my birthday.

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8 Responses »

  1. What a wonderful cocktail. The little bites of rhubard are great. We love to drink margaritas at our summer bbqs, and are always looking for new versions.

  2. This looks amazing – what a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday.

  3. This sounds lovely! And so pretty in pink. Happy Birthday! Lorene

  4. I’m going to have to try this out for my wife. She *loves* rhubarb … pies, tarts, etc… So hopefully I can surprise her with this. Maybe I’ll have to try a “fresca” type of thing too, without the alcohol.

  5. Your article reminds me of the days I experimented with cocktail drinks. Once I added rosebuds to my Tequila sunrise. Next, I mixed milk chocolate with my rum. I know it may sound strange, but I did it for fun. I will try your recipe with strawberry syrup and let my friends taste it. Happy spring!

  6. I love this article! Diligently made and the pictures were brilliant.
    Same with Andy, it makes me miss my cocktail sessions in my old house. 🙂


  7. Paul, Andy & Daniel, we’re working on a new rhubarb cocktail so be on the lookout soon.

  8. Really?I can’t wait for them. It’s great looking at those pictures. and the article, by the way, was great. Good job!