Posted BY JENNY JAMES ON April 13th, 2013



Spring is a time for reflection, assessment, cleaning, and drinking. Why not make your springtime drinking feel seasonal and homespun? People claim to love rhubarb, but I have to say I’m not totally convinced. We can buy (terrible, South American) blueberries all year at Wholefoods because people LOVE blueberries. Rhubarb? No. The demand, apparently, is just not there. You have to get it from an actual near-by place in the actual spring. So, while people “love” rhubarb, they don’t seem to be insisting upon eating it every day, all year long. This might be because rhubarb is complicated and withholding. It’s hard to eat it raw- it has to be shaved and tucked into salads with lots of other excitement going on. When cooked, yes, it is undeniably wonderful. But even then it’s kind of a pain in the ass. This is probably why most people make a little jam or bake a couple pies and move on to strawberries and cherries.

If it seems like I’m trying to argue against rhubarb being awesome, I’m not making my point. My point is that rhubarb IS the best and part of the magic is that we only get it for a moment. This year  I want to make this moment last. And I want it to last in the form of alcohol. Allow me to introduce to you: RHUBARB LIQUEUR.

+ 4 cups sliced rhubarb

+ 3 cups sugar

+ 3 cups vodka

Stir together in a large glass jar, screw lid on and let sit for two weeks at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. When it’s ready, strain it and store in jars.

Once your liqueur is ready, you will probably just want to drink it on the rocks with a twist. for those of you who feel like getting a little friskier, I spoke with Portland’s best bartender Nic Petersen of Park Kitchen to get some of his recipes. Here is what he suggests.


3/4 oz rhubarb liqueur

1 1/2 oz vodka

3/4 oz aperol

1/4 oz simple syrup or honey syrup

Shake and serve on the rocks with a splash of soda and two dashes of Peychauds bitters.



3/4 oz rhubarb liqueur

3/4 oz blanco tequila

3/4 oz yellow chartreuse

3/4 oz maraschino liqueur

Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Nic prefers small tumblers to martini glasses, and always keeps a few chilling in the fridge for drinks like this.


First image from here. Second from here.

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