This sophisticated spring cocktail is carefully crafted with a dash of bitters, a splash of rhubarb simple syrup, and of course– gin.
Move over cosmopolitan! There’s a new pink lady in town– and she’s DELICIOUS! This Rhubarb Pink Gin is a springtime take on the classic Pink Gin. This classy cocktail is made with bitters, gin, and rhubarb simple syrup.
Gathering Ingredients — Bitters
Have you ever used cocktail bitters? Do you know what they are, or do you gaze at them suspiciously when you see them sitting quietly on a shelf? Those tiny bottles are flavor-packed, and with only a drop or two, bitters can add a deliciously well-rounded finish to your homemade cocktails.
Cocktail bitters are infused alcohols. In other words, some alcohols (such as vodka), have a very mild flavor, and can be ‘infused’ with the flavors from other foods or plants. (This Honeysuckle Vodka, for example, is an infused vodka.) Cocktail bitters get their ‘bitter’ flavor from things like bark, roots, and flowers. They’re sold in little bottles, sometimes with droppers, and are meant to be used in very small amounts.
Where can you find bitters? Bitters tend to be sold in liquor stores, or in the liquor section of your regular grocery store. What should you look for? Unlike liqueurs, bitters usually have an ingredients label!* I love that the ingredients are listed– especially since a lot of products sold near the liquor don’t have ANY type of ingredient label.
Take advantage of the ingredient label! Most of the popular bitters brands include ingredients like corn syrup and food coloring. In fact, the original ‘Pink Gin’ gets its pink color from the bright pinkish-orange color you would normally get from a few drops of bitter mixed with gin. If you prefer to use bitters without syrup or food coloring, keep looking! Brands like Jack Rudy and Scrappy’s Bitters sell bitters with a cleaner ingredients list. Once you’ve found a brand that you like, you’ll also notice that there are lots of different flavors available. For this recipe I used aromatic bitters.
Making Rhubarb Pink Gin
To make a Rhubarb Pink Gin, start be making the rhubarb simple syrup. You’ll dice up some rhubarb, add sugar and water, and then simmer everything for a few minutes until the rhubarb falls apart and the sugar dissolves. Strain the now-pink sugar water into a container, and keep the cooked rhubarb for another recipe (like these fish tacos or this stuffed French toast!). You’ll end up with more pink rhubarb syrup than you need for this recipe. Save it and use it to sweeten your iced tea, lemonade, add it to champagne, or pour it into a margarita!
Next, coat the inside of a cocktail glass with a drop or two of aromatic bitters. Add a little rhubarb syrup and some gin to a cocktail shaker with ice, and stir until it’s chilled. Strain the rhubarb-gin mixture into your cocktail glass, and enjoy this sophisticated springtime beverage right away!
A Note on Amaro (Amari, plural): Amari are Italian bitters made of a wide variety of natural ingredients. They are sold in larger bottles and are often enjoyed on their own or added to cocktails.
*A Note on Angostura bitters: Some recipes call for ‘angostura’ bitters. Be aware that this is a brand, not a type of bitters. Angostura’s recipe is secret, so there’s no way to know exactly what’s in it.
Rhubarb Pink Gin
Rhubarb Simple Syrup:* (See Recipe Notes)
- 1 stalk rhubarb, diced
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Rhubarb Pink Gin:
- 1 oz rhubarb simple syrup
- 2 oz gin
- dash of aromatic bitters
- Optional: strawberries as garnish
Rhubarb Simple Syrup:
Add rhubarb and sugar to a small pot, and fill pot with just enough water to cover the rhubarb. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until the rhubarb stalks begin to fall apart.
Strain sugar-water off of the rhubarb into a container, reserving rhubarb for another recipe if desired. Allow rhubarb syrup to cool to room temperature. (If desired, put syrup in the fridge to speed cooling process.)
Rhubarb Pink Gin:
Swirl the dash of bitters in a cocktail glass until the inside of the glass is completely coated.
Stir gin and rhubarb simple syrup with ice until chilled. Strain gin mixture into the cocktail glass, garnish with strawberry if desired, and serve.
*Faster Cook Time: The Rhubarb Simple Syrup can be made ahead of time to shorten the recipe time to 1 minute.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal. Calories are an estimation, and will depend on the brand of bitters used.