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Author Notes: Last spring my boyfriend and I dove wholeheartedly into the art of mixology, trying our hand at recreating and adapting some of our favorites using herbs from our garden and ingredients from the local farmers market before venturing into our own concoctions. This is a favorite! Our adaptation of the Emperor's Garden, with some expanded depth and bitterness in hopes of achieving the perfectly balanced spring drink! —Lindsay223
Food52 Review: Full disclosure: I know Lindsay in real life, and she is a cocktail wizard. She's long laced her drinks with vinegars, to add depth and brightness, but the Rhubarb Rumble is my favorite to date. Grapefruit juice and gin are glorious together, but blended with fresh muddled basil, rice wine vinegar, and rhubarb syrup, they are so much better. The resulting tipple is sweet, sour, complex, and, most importantly, thoroughly delicious. While the recipe calls for shaking one cocktail at a time -- and you certainly could -- I might fill a punchbowl, topped with fizzy water, for a big party. Regardless, this is your new summer drink. —Cristina Sciarra
Makes 1 cocktail
For the rhubarb syrup:
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Bring 1 cup water to a boil.
- Add rhubarb and sugar and let sit until sugar has dissolved.
- Once sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit until cool.
For the cocktail:
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 ounce lime and/or lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 to 4 teaspoons rhubarb syrup, to taste
- 3 to 6 basil leaves, to taste
- 1 splash grapefruit juice (fresh is lovely, but pink grapefruit italian soda works, too)
- 3 dashes rhubarb bitters
- Add basil leaves, gin, and lemon/lime juice to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Muddle.
- Add vinegar, rhubarb syrup, and ice. Shake well, until shaker has frosted.
- Strain and pour into a rocks glass, with one large ice cube (if you don't have a fancy ice cube tray, try making some nice large ones in a muffin tin).
- Garnish with 1 to 2 basil leaves.
- Top with grapefruit juice or soda, then give the whole drink a stir.
- Finish with three dashes of rhubarb bitters (I recommend Fee Brothers). Lemon or aromatic bitters would do in a pinch.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Vinegar