Rhubarb Collins

Cheers to the first fruit of spring!

This cocktail is a great way to celebrate the springtime gift of gorgeous ruby-red rhubarb. You can make batches of rhubarb syrup and freeze them to enjoy all year long, or simply put cut rhubarb in the freezer and whip up a batch of syrup whenever needed. The syrup has a nice touch of sweetness so you can adjust the lemon juice in the cocktail to make the drink as tart or sweet as you prefer. This recipe also makes a delicious non-alcoholic mocktail – a great alternative to lemonade!


For the rhubarb syrup:

  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • 2 inch (5 cm) piece of ginger, sliced
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) water

For the cocktail:

  • 3 ounces (60 mL) rhubarb syrup
  • 1/2 ounce (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces (30 mL) vodka
  • 4 ice cubes
  • soda or sparkling water
  • thin stalks of rhubarb, cut into lengths one inch (2.5 cm) taller than glassware


  • Place chopped rhubarb in a non-reactive saucepan and add sugar, vanilla beans and ginger. Stir to combine, then cover and let sit for 8 – 12 hours so fruit can macerate. This draws the liquid out of the rhubarb and makes for a richer tasting syrup.
  • After the fruit has macerated, add the water and place over medium heat. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil and then reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until rhubarb is very soft.
  • Strain the mixture into a clean glass jar with a tight lid and refrigerate until cool. Rather than discarding the leftover fruit, remove the vanilla beans and add the cooked rhubarb and ginger to your favourite smoothie recipe!
  • Rhubarb syrup will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  • To prepare a cocktail, put the rhubarb syrup, lemon juice, vodka and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker (or clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid). Shake for one minute then strain mixture into a cocktail glass. Top with soda water and garnish with a piece of rhubarb.

Makes 1 cocktail; you can easily bake bigger batches.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

5 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.