Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
Tis’ the season for house-made spring mixers! And this time of year always makes me think of rhubarb and asparagus. Asparagus seems like a tough fit with most cocktails, so rhubarb was my spring item of choice for this mixer. Look at all this beautiful rhubarb!
I decided to go with a nice tangy rhubarb syrup to complement a yet-to-be-determined cocktail. So I took fresh rhubarb, sugar, water, and lime juice and threw it all on the stove. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. To help concentrate the flavors, I decided to blend the mixture and strain it through a cheesecloth. The final product was a vibrant red color and had a nice consistency. It was viscous enough, but not overly so. And the sweet/tart balance was just right.
After testing out a few different liquors to pair with the rhubarb, I landed on white rum. It’s a good fit for the spring time and I found that it had the appropriate level of herbaceousness for this cocktail. Gin felt too burdened by juniper and it overwhelmed the syrup. Vodka was too blank. White rum had the peppery zip I was looking for but it was balanced enough to let the rhubarb shine. For this particular cocktail I decided to use Dogfish Head White Rum (you may know that I’m a Dogfish fan).
To tie in the components in the syrup, I decided that rum, lime and rhubarb syrup would be my base. The first version lacked complexity, but with number two I brought in some additional liqueurs and a bit more sweetness, better balance and a spice component from the addition of Angostura Bitters. Rhubarb is a spring ingredient and this cocktail will make a nice addition to your spring list.
Go get yourself some rhubarb and get to work!
1 oz rhubarb syrup
0.75 oz lime juice
1.25 oz white rum
0.50 oz Domaine de Canton
0.25 oz St Germain
1 Dash Angostura Bitters