Every neighbour on our block begs us to take some. It is a banner year to grow rhubarb. Monstrous green leaves hang heavy on rhubarb stalks as if they may be hiding small dinosaurs in back yards. There has been strawberry rhubarb pie, rhubarb crumble and mad searching for best rhubarb recipes. After sampling assorted rhubarb drinks, I decide to try my hand at creating my own rhubarb cocktail recipe. A rhubarb mocktail if you prefer no alcohol.

Give a person enough time at home and it seems anything is possible.         

Rhubarb cocktail

Jar of rhubarb syrup and sparkling rhubarb cocktail

Is rhubarb a fruit?

Don’t tell poor rhubarb, but she is a vegetable masquerading as a fruit. Rhubarb is a vegetable from the genus rheum and is a perennial plant. Rhubarb stalks have a texture like celery and are bitterly sour.

As a child I recall sun-filled summer days in the farm yard, dipping a raw rhubarb stalk in a bowl of sugar as a treat. If you have never had the pleasure of eating rhubarb, I suggest moving past sugar dipping.

On to tastier options like rhubarb pie, rhubarb cake or even rhubarb muffins.

rhubarb plant

Is rhubarb in season? I think so!

Where can I buy rhubarb to make this rhubarb drink?

During the summer season, many farmer’s markets stock the green red rhubarb stalks. You can buy rhubarb in some supermarkets as well.

In northern United States and much of Canada, rhubarb is commonly found in backyards and alleys. Often with the home owner asking passers by if they would be willing to take some rhubarb. Likely before it overtakes the entire garden. 

stalks and leaves

The celery like stalks of the rhubarb plant

Why make a rhubarb cocktail?

Besides making a refreshing and pretty summer drink, it is a creative way to use a plant that grows as if it is being fed steroids.

Approximately one third of all food produced each year for human use will end up as global food waste. That food loss totals 1.3 billion tonnes, with fruits and vegetables being the most likely food type to end up as food garbage. 

Having eaten our share of rhubarb desserts, an easy rhubarb recipe for rhubarb syrup seems like a good way to prevent waste. Also it may prevent further consumption of calorie laden rhubarb pie.

The recipe below, is inspired by a kind neighbour of our son and daughter in law who shared a Lemon-Herb Rhubarb Spritzer recipe. I have switched out sugar for honey and played with the quantities of ingredients. 

This rhubarb simple syrup could be used to make a variety of rhubarb drink recipes. From a rhubarb vodka cocktail or rhubarb gin cocktail to a simple rhubarb soda. 

The rhubarb sauce leftover once the syrup is drained, can be eaten as a dessert or used as a topping on yogurt or ice cream. 

Be aware the rhubarb leaves are not edible as they contain a high level of oxalic acid.

rhubarb spritzer

Rhubarb cocktail
5 from 2 votes

Sparkling Rhubarb Cocktail

This easy Sparkling Rhubarb Cocktail is a refreshing champagne or prosecco spritzer that can be made non-alcoholic by using soda water.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Canadian
Keyword Cocktail, Rhubarb, spritzer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 6 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp diced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp diced fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste


  1. Cut rhubarb stalks in 1/2 inch slices. If the stalk is thicker than 1/2 inch slice stalk lengthwise in half.

    Rhubarb slicing
  2. Dice fresh rosemary.

    Chopped rosemary
  3. Dice fresh mint.

    Chopped mint
  4. In large saucepan combine rhubarb, water, honey,  rosemary and mint.

    Cooking Rhubarb cocktail mixture
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

    Rhubard drink mixture simmering
  6. Remove from heat. Pour rhubarb mixture into a fine mesh strainer to separate the rhubarb syrup from the rhubarb sauce.

    Straining rhubarb syrup
  7. Add lemon juice to the rhubarb cocktail mix. If you like a more tart taste, add more.

  8. Place in a jar and chill.

    Rhubarb cocktail
  9. Rather than throw away the rhubarb fruit mash, place it in a separate container to be used as topping for ice cream or yogurt.

  10. To serve the rhubarb cocktail, combine 1/4 cup of the rhubarb syrup with 3/4 cup of champagne, Prosecco, sparkling wine or soda water to create your favourite rhubarb drink recipes

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Does rhubarb grow where you live? Any best rhubarb recipes you are willing to share?