Rhubarb Gin Rickey

Spring is right around the corner and it is Rhubarb season. This herbaceous perennial is a vegetable that acts more like a fruit. Used in culinary applications for its lively tart characters, rhubarb offers great opportunities for cocktails when made into syrup or infused into a spirit. Today we offer you the Rhubarb Rickey.

The Rickey is a classic cocktail preparation that was invented in 1883 by Colonel Joe Rickey, a democratic lobbyist from Missouri at Shoomaker’s bar in Washington D.C. As the story goes, after a long night of drinking a number of lobbyists gathered at Shoomakers for a “Morning After” pick-me-up before heading up to the hill for the day’s business. Rickey, instructed bartender George A. Williamson to squeeze lime juice into his Bourbon and to top it with soda. This was the birth of the Rickey. Over the years the drink which was originally made with Bourbon and un-sweetened has morphed into a more preferred Gin base with the addition of sugar to round the tart edges. Our version employs the use of Rhubarb infused into simple syrup as a base to the classic gin and lime rendition. It is a tart refreshing cocktail we always enjoy at this time of year as a sign that spring is right around the corner. Cheers!

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Chopped Rhubarb

Bring Water to a Boil.  Add Sugar Until Well Dissolved.  Add Rhubarb and Simmer for 30 Minutes.  Strain Through a Fine Sieve Pressing Out all the Rhubarb.  Cool and Bottle in a Sterile Glass Bottle.  Rhubarb Simple Syrup Will Keep Refrigerated for About a Week.

Now that you’ve got yourself some syrup, let’s move onto the cocktail…

The Rhubarb Gin Rickey

In a Cocktail Shaker Filled with Ice Add:

  • 2 Ounces of Well-Bred Gin
  • Fresh Squeezed Juice of 1 Lime
  • ½ Ounce Rhubarb Simple Syrup (+/- to taste)

Shake and Strain into a Highball Glass Filled with Fresh Ice.  Top with Club Soda.  Garnish with Lime and Slice of Rhubarb.   


Substitute the Gin with Vodka or Bourbon.

Drop the Alcohol and Mix the Rhubarb Syrup with Club Soda for an Exotic Kiddie Cocktail.