When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When life hands you lemons AND rhubarb, you make a rhubarb lemon vodka cocktail!
Rhubarb has been all the rage of late, and with good reason! It is at its most fresh from April through June but the season can start early and run late so we’ve had a ton of it lying around just begging to be devoured.
The red, celery-looking fruit is a little on the tart side, which is why it’s often baked alongside sweet fruit like strawberries. For this rhubarb lemon vodka cocktail, my mother made the rhubarb stalks into a simple syrup from all of the fresh fruit in our kitchen. This is a great way to take a solid fruit and transform it into a sweet, smooth liquid that is perfect for mixing cocktails!
Have you ever made simple syrup? Much as the name suggests, it is really simple to make! A basic simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar but for this one, we added chopped rhubarb stalks. The key to keep it smooth once the fruit has cooked is to strain the liquid and save the leftover fruit mush (there’s got to be a more appetizing word for that) to put on your yogurt and granola for breakfast.
Those of you who have met my mom know that I get many of my kitchen skills and instincts from her. Since I’ve been staying with my folks for a few weeks, we’ve had lots of time back in the kitchen together, cranking through recipe tests and knowledge sharing across generations. Our different cooking backgrounds (and cleaning styles) make for an interesting kitchen experience but it forces each of us out of our comfort zones, which has been a delicious adventure!
If you’ve been dealing with some seriously warm summer temps (aren’t we all?), this refreshing rhubarb lemon cocktail is exactly what you need in your life. The lemon vodka and the rhubarb simple syrup balance each other out and the ginger ale adds a nice fizzy background to the other two flavors.
Tip: If you want the rhubarb flavor to be more prominent, make the drink shorter and use less ginger ale.
Yields 4 drinks
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 7 stalks of rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 4 ounces lemon vodka, divided
- 4 cups ginger ale, divided
- Combine the water, sugar and rhubarb in a saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved and the fruit gets soft. Strain out the fruit (reserve for eating later) and store the syrup in the fridge until ready to make cocktails.
- Pour a ½ cup of of the simple syrup and 1 ounce of vodka in each glass. Top with ginger ale.