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Rhubarb Bitters

As you read this, you should know that I started this concoction three months ago - when rhubarb was in season.  I had a lot of fun with this quirky fruit this year.  I had the luxury of a seemingly endless supply.  That gave me the chance to experiment with a few new things without sacrificing my old time favourites.

Rhubarb in Autumn
This is a real stretch for me but my research shows that this is an uber ingredient with the nouveau drink makers.  Use this like you would use any other bitters, such as angostura bitters. 

After steeping, in the refrigerator, for 3 months I strained it and discarded the solids.  I was left with a very aromatic and slightly cloudy concoction.  It smelled deeply of citrus.  I love orange flavours with bourbon and it worked very well in the Manhattan.

Rhubarb bitters 

 peel from 2 oranges cut into thin strips with as little of the white pith as possible
 peel of  1/2 grapefruit cut into thin strips with as little white pith as possible
 1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
 1 juniper berry, 3 inches tamarind pod with seeds, and 3 coriander seeds (or substitute 4 or 5 cloves for the juniper, tamarind and coriander)
 1 to 1 1/2 cups vodka or Everclear

Mix the ingredients in a large jar and screw on a lid to seal it. Shake it every 3 to 4 days for 12 weeks. Strain out the solids and enjoy!

2 oz high quality bourbon
1/2 oz red vermouth
1/2 tsp rhubarb bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with a baby stalk of rhubarb. 

Champagne cocktail
Place a sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of bitters (or to taste) over the sugar cube. Fill the glass with Prosecco or other sparkling wine.


  1. Ah Sarah
    This is one of those evenings when I could use a nice drink and this one that you concocted sounds so nice!

  2. I am so excited at your experiment... I still have rhubarb in the freezer and would love to try this. I just broke into my 8 month old quince ratafia and it was delish... sometimes it's good to be patient!

  3. Une recette originale de rhubarbe.
    Je la note.
    Bonne semaine et à bientôt.

  4. How frustrating . . . I have only just come across your site and this recipe . . . going to have to wait until next spring. Curses!


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