Rhubarb is an underrated drink ingredient and it's one that should be used more often. The rhubarb collins is just one fascinating example of the vegetable's potential in cocktails. You're going to love how well it pairs with a nice gin to create a modern twist on the classic Tom Collins.
The rhubarb in this drink comes from a simple rhubarb syrup (made like unflavored simple syrup, but with rhubarb juice instead of water at a higher ratio). Its gentle, sweetened flavoring works perfectly with the rose, peach, and raspberry profile of Nolet's Silver Dry Gin. The rhubarb bitters are simply a little added bonus.
Also, there are not one, but two bitters in this cocktail. The cardamom bitters add an interesting twist and Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters is one of the best you can find.
Make Rhubarb Syrup
In order to make the syrup, you will need to make rhubarb juice as it's not one that you're likely to find at the local market. You can juice the rhubarb in some high-end juicers that can handle tougher vegetables. Otherwise, you will have to do some work to process the rhubarb in boiling water and extract its juice, but it's very easy. This is best if you have at least 2 pounds of rhubarb to work with (this rhubarb juice recipe yields about 2 quarts).
Once you have the juice, you can use a portion of it to make syrup. Make more if you like—after all, rhubarb's tart flavor is best when sweetened—making sure to keep the ratio at 3 parts rhubarb juice to 1 part sugar.
In a small saucepan, bring the rhubarb juice to a slow boil. Stir in the sugar and continue stirring until it is completely dissolved.
Reduce heat, cover, and allow the syrup to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool completely before bottling under a tight seal. It should keep well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Make the Rhubarb Collins
Gather the ingredients.
Pour the gin, rhubarb syrup, lime juice, and rhubarb bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Top with 4 drops of cardamom bitters.
Serve and enjoy!
How Strong Is a Rhubarb Collins?
Nolet's is bottled at a strong 47.6 percent ABV (95.2 proof) and this cocktail uses a very tall shot, so the drink is going to be full of flavor but not as mild as most highballs. It's not bad though and should have an alcohol content around 17 percent ABV (34 proof), which is perfect for a casual spring afternoon.