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Rhubarb Gin

Rhubarb Gin

Pender Island Life, Recipes

I put plans on hold, in fact, I stopped everything just to bring you this gin.

It’s that important — critical, really — rhubarb season is coming to a close all around us, and yet there are still people out there who haven’t infused booze with it.

I was the same until a few days ago, when a friend opened my eyes to the light that is Rhubarb Gin.  And now I’m obliged to pass the torch, because this summertime libation is just too good not to share.


The “Original Idea Award” for this one goes to Megan over at Kitsch in the Kitchen.  Megan and I met last summer, while she and her family were staying on Pender temporarily, before moving to Boston.  Megan is a talented artist and foodie extraordinaire — not only does she share some killer food on her site, but she also handcrafts one-of-a-kind aprons to keep you clean (and looking sexy) while you’re slaving over your own hot stove!

Her latest brainwave was rhubarb gin.  As soon as I saw those two words on my Facebook feed, I knew I had this year’s summertime boozy infusion.  Last year, in a nod to my younger years, I re-explored the fun of injecting vodka into a whole watermelon.  This past winter, I used some of my stash of Pender blueberries to make Blueberry Gin, which made some pretty popular Christmas gifts.  Ooh, the colour!

‎My version of rhubarb gin involves mixing 2 cups of chopped rhubarb with 2 Tble sugar, the zest of 1 lemon & a crushed sprig of mint in a large jar.  Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes, while the rhubarb juice works it’s magic on the sugar and dissolves it to a sweet syrup.   Next, pour 1L of gin over top, give it a quick stir and cap it.

If you’ve got the time, you can actually watch the infusion happen right before your eyes.  After a couple of hours, the rhubarb will begin to rise, leaving a pretty pink tint behind.

We called it done after about 48 hours — I had expected to wait about a week, but there was no need.  After 2 days, all of the colour had been stripped from the rhubarb, and I felt very sure, instinctively, that the flavour transfer process was also complete. (And yes, I’m sure it was instinct, not impatience, that persuaded me to make the call.)

This is the perfect cool-down to serve on a hot late-spring/early-summer afternoon.  I kept it simple, and served my rhubarb gin over ice, with a single drop of vermouth, in glasses rimmed with cinnamon sugar.

Can I interest you in a Rhubarb Crisp Martini?

Delicious!  First, a slight tang from the rhubarb, then a little sweetness from the sugar and, finally, the tiniest of kicks in your palate from the cinnamon. If you prefer a slightly sweeter cocktail, you can always add some simple syrup to the shaker — though we didn’t think it needed it.


Of course, there’s one thing that makes a fruit crisp better, and that’s whipped cream — which makes this a Rhubarb Crisp Martini à la mode — for which, there is a house limit of one/night.  As a friend said when she saw this picture, “A gin and whipping cream hangover ain’t pretty.”  It doesn’t take razor-sharp instinct to know she’s right.


  1. Belinda @zomppa
    June 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I can think of many a people who would not say no!!

  2. Carolyn
    June 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Why yes, you CAN interest me in a rhubarb martini!

  3. Claudia
    June 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    You’re convincing me…I still have some rhubarb left. I don’t tend to drink gin – except when it is 102 degrees F (like today) and there’s some tonic on hand…

  4. Vanessa
    June 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm


    • Theresa
      June 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks Vanessa!

  5. Jenny Eatwell
    June 8, 2011 at 5:02 am

    OMG! ~rushes off to cut some rhubarb and grab a Kilner jar~

  6. Trix
    June 9, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Oh my gosh … it’s 7:30 am is it too early for some rhubarb gin???? Actually if I get started now it will be ready at a civilized time right? I totally remember your blueberry gin, and this is just spectacular. (Do I get too excited about booze??)

  7. Shirley
    June 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Thats one coool drink!

  8. I adore the color of that drink. I was at the grocery store yesterday and saw some rhubarb. Thought about buying it, but didn’t. Now i’m kicking myself for that decision.

    • Theresa
      May 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Rhubarb lovers unite (and drink!)

  9. Kate
    June 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    This is beyond yummy!! Now that I know how good it is, it will be torture waiting the 48 hours before its done!!!!:)

  10. Kate
    June 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    *the next batch, that is :)

  11. sarah sedgewick
    October 4, 2012 at 3:09 am

    This sounds really easy, as there are no sloe berries around, I’m stuck for an ingredient, do you take off the stringy bits of rhubarb after they have floated? Off to buy my jar now!

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