Rhubarb is here! But what exactly do you do with a bunch of rhubarb? I actually think it makes a much better cocktail ingredient than baking ingredient, because of its tart grassy flavor. This cocktail goes all out with the rhubarb and a fennel-infused vodka. You can use the syrup and juice you make for this recipe in other rhubarb cocktails or get even fancier by making your own homemade rhubarb bitters.
1 1/2 ounces fennel-infused vodka*
1 1/2 ounces rhubarb syrup**
1/3 ounce rhubarb juice
3/4 ounce lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Note: If you don’t have a juicer, you juice rhubarb (stalks only!) in a blender and then press through a fine-mesh strainer.
1 cup vodka
1 sprig fresh fennel (the greenery, not the bulb)
Let fennel steep in vodka for 24 hours. Taste to see if you’re satisfied with the flavor. If you’d like it more intense, steep for longer.
1 1/2 cups water
5 stalks rhubarb, chopped into half-inch pieces
3/4 cup cane sugar
Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. The rhubarb will separate and turn into mush. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 10 more minutes. Strain out the solids through a fine-mesh sieve or cheese cloth. You can use the mush in baking. Keep the syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
Photo by Jackson Stakeman