Summery rhubarb cocktail infusion

by Jessie K on May 21, 2012

Thanks to everyone who responded to yesterday’s post about summery infusion ideas for a hooch-based cocktail.

In the end, I went with Jen and Charlotte’s suggestion for rhubarb — not only because it sounded interesting (rhubarb? steeped in hooch? wha–?) but because it was the one ingredient I could source for free, locally.

My neighbor has a patch he was all too eager to share; June was all too happy to oblige.

A little harvesting wisdom from my neighbor:  When cutting rhubarb, cut as close to the base, to the root, as possible to ensure regrowth next year.

Cicadas: still everywhere.

I picked enough for the infusion, plus for at least two to three batches of homemade rhubarb jam.  Mmmmm!

For the infusion, I washed one stalk, then cut it into slices short enough to fit inside a pint jar and submerged them with Virginia lightening!

Because rhubarb is so tart, I added one tablespoon of honey from a local apiary and one tablespoons simple syrup… take the tangy edge off.

I’ll let this infuse outside in the sun for a week….should be ready in time for Memorial Day!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen May 21, 2012 at 11:31 am


Yay for rhubarb – always a winner in my house. I liked the rhubarb hooch with sparking water, lime, and a teeny bit of cherry syrup. Or just by itself!

amy May 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm


Hi Jessie,
Perhaps an odd question, but what exactly is Viginia lightening? Whisky, Gin, Bourbon? Something similar?
I have some rhubarb leftovers in the garden and your idea sounds great. The “lightening” is a clear one, correct?

Jessie K May 22, 2012 at 10:10 am


“Virginia lightening” is my name for moonshine but any clear spirit (vodka) will do!

amy May 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm


thank you and will do!

Becca May 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm


ps. For those new to rhubarb like myself ( I thought it was rainbow chard) the LEAVES of rhubarb are super toxic. Send-you-to-the-ER-kind-of-toxic. Just in case I’m not the only reader who didn’t know.

Kitchen Ninja May 28, 2012 at 9:48 am


Hi Jessie — I’m linking my readers over to this post as one of many ideas for how to use rhubarb. Thanks for the great post!

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