Up until now, there were exactly zero rhubarb recipe gracing the pages of this blog. Zero, in the nearly eight (!!!) years I’ve been chattering on about food and drink. I didn’t grow up eating rhubarb so I was never familiar with it. I had some vague idea that it was sour and is supposed to go well with strawberries but that’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge on the topic. Last week, Andrew and I had a special date night out and we went to a wonderful local restaurant Plow & Anchor. The whole meal was truly superb, but the dessert was especially outstanding. As per my usual M.O., I ordered the most interesting sounding thing, which happened to be sweet pea creme brûlée with rhubarb compote. Every bite of it was phenomenal, including the rhubarb compote. Clearly, it is time to expand my rhubarb horizons.

As luck would have it, I recently came across this very excellent cocktail cookbook at our public library (which has since been added to my personal library.) This was one of the first drinks that really caught my eye and after experiencing that wonderful dessert, I just had to try it.  The base of the drink is a spiced rhubarb syrup with vanilla bean, ginger, lime and peppercorn. It may sound a bit odd but let me tell you, this combination is something magical. The syrup is truly amazing with a complex well balanced flavor. I was wary of the peppercorn but it added a very subtle spice note that we loved. You don’t have to include the rhubarb bits itself in the finished drink. In fact, I think we aren’t intended to. However, I liked them in mine. Do whatever suits you! Being a bubbly cocktail, this would be great for any spring celebration and might be just the thing for Mother’s Day this weekend. Whatever you do to celebrate, I hope it is a lovely weekend!

  • Prep 15 minutes
  • Cook 10 minutes
  • Yield enough syrup for 5-6 servings


For the rhubarb syrup: 

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • Zest of ½ a lime, cut into strips
  • ½ a vanilla bean (split lengthwise)
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¾ tsp. spiced rum

To prepare: 

  • 1 oz. spiced rhubarb syrup (above)
  • Crushed ice
  • 5 oz. prosecco per serving
  • Thinly sliced rhubarb, for garnish


  • 01

    To make the syrup, combine the sugar and water in a  medium saucepan over medium heat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved completely into the water. Add in the ginger, peppercorns, lime zest, and vanilla bean. Let simmer over medium to medium-high heat about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place the rhubarb in a medium bowl. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve over the rhubarb. Add in a few pieces of the ginger and the vanilla bean pod. Discard the remaining solids. Let stand, swirling the bowl occasionally to coat the fruit, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rum, cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.

  • 02

    To serve, fill a glass with crushed ice. Add in 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb syrup and top with the Prosecco. Swirl gently to mix. Garnish with the fresh rhubarb and serve.