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The Tippler: Rhubarb Fennel Fizz

Rhubarb Fennel Fizz

This cocktail epitomizes spring. It is intensely, deeply pink, buoyed by fennel-infused gin and a vivid rhubarb syrup. Finished with a vigorous shake, it is light, just sweet enough, and bordering on dangerous for all its demure qualities. Fresh rhubarb is absolutely critical here – during a rhubarb shortage in April, I made this with frozen rhubarb and the flavor left something to be desired.

Enjoy it on the roof or lounging around in a grassy backyard somewhere warm, watching clouds roll by, and listening to music that makes you nostalgic and happy all at once. Something like The Boys of Summer.

Rhubarb Fennel Fizz

Fresh rhubarb

Note: For those of you not fond of the flavor of fennel, it’s pretty mild in this drink. You could also try swapping out the fennel for ginger or orange.

Serves about 4

1 pound rhubarb, rinsed and chopped
12 ounces water
1/4 cup sugar

1 small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
12 ounces gin

sparkling water
1 lemon, thinly sliced

For each drink:
2 ounces gin
3 ounces rhubarb
2 ounces sparkling water
1 lemon slice

First, prepare the gin. Add the fennel to a tall, narrow-mouthed glass jar, followed by about half of the gin. Using a muddler or heavy wooden spoon, vigorously muddle the fennel for a good couple of minutes. Add the remaining gin and stir. Let the infusion sit for at least an hour, although longer is better.

While the gin is infusing, prepare the rhubarb. Combine rhubarb, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, and cover, for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Remove from heat, and strain thoroughly, using a spoon to press the juices from the pulp.

Next, strain the gin.

For each cocktail, mix three ounces rhubarb syrup with two ounces gin and two ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into an old-fashioned glass or small mason jar, add two to three ounces of sparkling water, a few ice cubes, and garnish with lemon. A sante!

  • bianca - My gosh, the color of these is gorgeous. I have always been slightly afraid of rhubarb- it’s innate bitterness scared me; but these look too good not to try!ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - Bianca: No bitterness to be found here! (Although that’s a quality that I absolutely love about rhubarb. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jacky - Wow, these are gorgeous. I am intrigued and hope to try them this week. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - Rhubarb and fennel are two of my favorites, yet I have never thought to pair them. This sounds fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - I love that first step… so simple and perfect. This cocktail is full of flavors that I’ve never thought to pair together. But it makes perfect sense. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Franzen ` - hehe you did already comment, sometimes twice is nice ;) I want to drink this NOW. Rhubarb in a drink, have to tell the boyfriendReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - I finally bought rhubarb and am planning on baking some ginger & rhubarb squares, but I’m such a fan of pretty cocktails that I might just have to save some of the rhubarb for a fizz or two. Looks like a tasty and charming sipper!ReplyCancel

  • Jess - So pretty! Makes me feel sunny and warm just looking at it!ReplyCancel

  • sara - This looks insanely good! I don’t usually make cocktails at home, but this one would definitely be worth the work…yum!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - love rhubarb, love fennel, love gin. And the color is spectacular. i will definitely be trying this soon!ReplyCancel

  • aarthi - This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - Fennel is actually a totally recent obsession of mine but I would definitely never have thought to pair it with rhubarb. It’s licorice-y flavor probably compliments that tart rhubarb so well, though! Could this be my drink of summer? I think so.

    It was so fun having lunch with you and I really hope you come to NYC! Keep me posted!ReplyCancel

  • Tova - First of all, Boys of Summer is my favorite song EVER. Second, my boyfriend bought a bunch of rhubarb recently with the expressed purpose of making rhubarb syrup for drinks like this one. I cannot wait to try it. It looks divine!ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - I cannot believe how ruby-colored your rhubarb is! I’m only seeing the pale pink kind around here. I would love to sip one of these while listening to the Boys of Summer :)ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - O.k. seriously too good. I’m in love with rhubarb … more than ever this year and have made so many desserts and compotes but not a cocktail yet. Must. Try. Soon. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - Another rhubarb+fennel fan!! Yum! And, I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog and ecstatic that you’re a Bay Area blogger too. Looking forward to connecting in person sometime!ReplyCancel

  • Mika - Lovely recipe…I felt in love with that deeply pink colour… ^_^ReplyCancel

  • kankana - This is a very different kind of drink i came across. The color looks so pretty and sounds refreshing! Would love to get drunk on that pretty looking fizz!! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Terri - Made these yesterday but swapped out the sparkling water for sparkling wine. Absolutely gorgeous. We infuse Vodka quite often but never gin and fennel wouldn’t have occurred to me. It was absolutely brilliant combined with the rhubarb simple syrup. Many thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Val - Your photos are absolutely beautiful of this drink. If I ever get my hands on some rhubarb I have to give this a try. Its just the fennel infused-gin that Im not sure about. Im not the biggest fennel fan but maybe I can overcome that!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberley - @Terri: Test kitchen success! Nothing makes me happier than hearing this. And great call on the sparkling wine!
    @Val: You might want to try infusing your gin with something other than fennel? Perhaps add some ginger or orange instead. I found the flavor to be pretty mild – but it’s definitely present. Good luck in your experiments!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey (Happyolks) - Dear lord. Fennel in a cocktail? You are a genius. I love everything about this recipe, can’t wait to try it before the rhubarb is out of season! I’ve missed visiting your blog over the past few weeks, loving catching up :)ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - WOAH, I am really missing out!ReplyCancel

  • Pastel dreams - […] Row 4: Ride my bike for hours on end in the warm summer air & enjoy refreshing drinks. […]ReplyCancel

  • ep - You didn’t mention how perfectly yummy the rhubarb pulp is spread on your toast the next morning! Thank you for this fabulous recipe. These were a perfect drink for Easter.ReplyCancel

    • Lance - Yes! What a nice surprise, right? It’s enough of a reason to make the recipe even without the syrup (or the cocktail… though we wouldn’t want to neglect the cocktail).ReplyCancel

  • Jen - RecipeReplyCancel

  • Lance - Wow – thank you for this recipe, which is really three recipes in one! There’s the cocktail, the syrup, and, I was delighted to discover, the rhubarb preserves that remain after draining away the syrup. I thought this might be a stringy, no longer-sweet mess destined for the bin. But one taste revealed it to be a perfect topping for toast, oatmeal, scones, muffins… it’s the sleeper of this recipe.ReplyCancel

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