Rhubarb Buzz

Rhubarb is a staple of many Inland Northwest gardens because it thrives in our climate here. Rhubarb is one of the first crops of spring and you can continue to harvest the stalks until the end of summer.

. Their sweet and tart flavor is perfect in fruit pies and crumbles. Another excellent way to enjoy them is in cocktails.For this recipe I met with Renée Cebula, local cocktail enthusiast, educator and historian. Her love for history has led her to years of research into America’s drinking history and beyond. Cebula explained how cocktails were made originally with bitters for healing purposes. “Bittersare aromatic extracts made from infusing high-proof alcohol with barks, botanicals, flowers, fruit peels, herbs, seeds, and spices,” she said. “It’s just like how people take various herbal teas depending on the health benefits they are looking for. Bitters were used in cocktails the same way. It’s the same with rhubarb, it was sought out in cocktails for its health benefits, including having anti-inflammatory properties.”

Enjoy this refreshing rhubarb cocktail recipe by Cebula.

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Rhubarb Buzz

  • Author: Renée Cebula


  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 1 oz *rhubarb syrup
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

For Syrup

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 3 C diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen) about 9-10 stalks


Chill a coupe glass. Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.Simple? Yes. Just 3 ingredients, fresh and brought together in a shaker. Happy summer!

For Syrup:

Bring sugar and water to a simmer. When sugar is dissolved, add the diced rhubarb. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. Set aside to cool completely. Drain the rhubarb through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Reserve the syrup and refrigerate. Makes approx. 1 cup. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.