Rhubarb Basil Smash

This rhubarb basil smash is the perfect summer cocktail. Delicious homemade rhubarb syrup combined with fresh basil, vodka, and bitters. You’ll love this drink!

This rhubarb basil smash is the perfect summer cocktail. Delicious homemade rhubarb syrup combined with fresh basil, vodka, and bitters. You'll love this drink!

Summer is here! If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that every winter I do a little event called The Boozy Days of Christmas. It’s basically two weeks straight of warm winter drinks that will keep your belly warm and ready to take on all the crazy holiday festivities.

This summer I decided it take this event and bring it into the warm weather. With all the all freshness of summer, it was dying to be done. Plus I was getting a little tired of doing tons of mulled wine, cider, and eggnog cocktails.

So, for the next two weeks, I will be sharing nothing but summer drinks. It will include lots of drinks made with fresh fruit, herbs,Β and nothing but quality spirits, bitters, tonics, and syrups. I will also be having TONS of fun giveaways. If you enjoy making cocktails will want to come back every day to see what recipe is being served up and if there is a fun giveaway to go along with the post.

This rhubarb basil smash is the perfect summer cocktail. Delicious homemade rhubarb syrup combined with fresh basil, vodka, and bitters. You'll love this drink!

For this first drink, I took homemade rhubarb syrup, vodka, lemon, basil, and bitters and created the most delicious summertime drink. It’s slightly sweet and has a light basil flavor. Who knew basil and rhubarb were such good friends? This drink would also be perfect with gin if you are a fan.

I was lucky enough to get to experiment with Fee Brothers bitters and Adirondack Distilling Vodka. While I had never really played around with bitters I was amazed to find the depth of flavor it brings to a cocktail. Plus they come in tons of flavors that work with just about any cocktail you can dream up.

Also, I’m a sucker for local distilleries. I was lucky enough to talk to one of the owners of Adirondack Distilling Company and they sent me a bottle of their fantastic vodka. The thing I love the most about this vodka is that it’s made from New York state corn and distilled in an environmentally friendly process. If you are going to make it a point to eat locally you should also make it a point to drink locally! Who’s with me!

This rhubarb basil smash is the perfect summer cocktail. Delicious homemade rhubarb syrup combined with fresh basil, vodka, and bitters. You'll love this drink!


Rhubarb Basil Smash

This rhubarb basil smash is the perfect summer cocktail. Delicious homemade rhubarb syrup combined with fresh basil, vodka, and bitters. You'll love this drink!

Yield: 1 drink

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


For cocktail:

  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce rhubarb syrup
  • 1-1/2 ounce vodka
  • 3 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

For rhubarb syrup:

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Source: Syrup from The Kitchn


For cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker add basil leaves, lemon juice and rhubarb syrup. Gently muddle to bruise basil. You do not want to rip the basil apart in the shaker. Just gently release the delicious basil flavor.

Add in ice and vodka. Add shaker lid and shake until cold.

Pour into short cocktail glass and add more ice if needed. Add rhubarb bitters and give a quick stir.

For rhubarb syrup:
Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil.

Lower to a simmer and cook till thick, about 20 minutes.

Pour through a fine strainer, gently pushing the fruit to extract all the juice. I like to press a little firmer on my fruit so my syrup is more cloudy because more solids make it into my syrup. If you want a clearer syrup make sure to not press any of the solids through the strainer. Store refrigerated in a jar.


100 Responses to “Rhubarb Basil Smash”

  1. #
    Erica — June 17, 2013 at 6:43 am

    What a pretty summer drink! If I won the ipad, I’d use it to pull up recipes while I cook!!

  2. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — June 17, 2013 at 7:50 am

    It’s so pretty! I hope I can still find rhubarb here!

  3. #
    Lara — June 17, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I am always stealing my fiance’s iPad! I will definitely use it in the wedding planning process, and to write more on my (sadly neglected) blog. πŸ™‚

  4. #
    Robert Gately — June 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Looks delicious! If I won I would give it to my daughter who is graduating from Medical School.

  5. #
    Mattso — June 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Nice drink! I love anything with Rhubarb, not to mention bitters! If I won the IPad I would use it to stream cooking shows so I can watch them in the kitchen! No one looks good on my tiny phone screen…

  6. #
    Kim — June 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

    This is my first time hearing about Adirondack Distilling Company. I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the other fantastic blogs.

  7. #
    Kimberly Morris — June 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I would definitely use an IPad in the kitchen while cooking!! Loving all of these boozy beverages!

  8. #
    Cat @ B2B — June 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I’m obsessed with rhubarb. Obsessed. I’m sooooo making this.

  9. #
    Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) — June 17, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I would use the iPad to refer too all my online recipes and cooking/recipe apps!

  10. #
    Evelyn R — June 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

    kindle app and watching videos on netflix

  11. #
    Happy Valley Chow — June 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Really excited to be a new follower of your blog and looking forward to seeing your delicious recipes. This drink sounds amazing, I love pairing fruit with fresh herbs, especially in drinks!

  12. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — June 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    The boozy days of summer! I love that, maybe too much. And I think bittters should be mandatory in everyones home bar stash, I love the idea of rhubarb. Fabulous πŸ™‚

  13. #
    Cathy @ Savory Notes — June 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Rhubarb bitters? How have I not heard of this amazing concoction? Where have I been?? And you know how much I love herbs in drinks… I’ll have to try this drink recipe ASAP. πŸ™‚

  14. #
    Celeste — June 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I would use it in my classroom (kindergarten) as a teaching-tool!

  15. #
    ashley - baker by nature — June 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I am checking out this vodka and bitters ASAP! I need this drink!

  16. #
    Kel — June 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Use it for work.

  17. #
    Laura — June 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I would love an iPad to use while traveling!

  18. #
    Rebecca {Foodie with Family} — June 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Whoa. Basil Rhubarb Smash sounds like just about the best thing ever.

  19. #
    Brandy — June 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Keeping my kiddo happy on the airplane. Ha

  20. #
    Hannah — June 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Cooking! All my recipes are on google drive so right now I use my phone but an ipad would be so much easier!

  21. #
    cassie — June 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    This is one gorgeous cocktail. Sounds so refreshing!

  22. #
    Rachael — June 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    So many things we would iPad… grocery & to-do lists and kids entertainment and work on the go and staying up too late reading!

  23. #
    Joanne — June 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I am SO excited for your boozy summer drinks! And seriously, what a way to kick it off. I had a rhubarb drink recently and was seriously enamored but basil is such a fun addition!

  24. #
    latanya — June 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    to read books and read blogs

  25. #
    samantha — June 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    writing blog posts on the go!

  26. #
    Jacki — June 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I would read and read and read some more!!1

  27. #
    Rachel — June 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Love the logo! I’ll use my ipad for commenting on your blog. πŸ™‚

  28. #
    Lynn — June 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I would like to be able to give an iPad to my mother. She does not have a computer of any sort, and I think it would be an easy device for her to handle. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. #
    Katie — June 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Something I’ve always wanted to do… Start a food blog or be a food critic for local vegetarian restaurants since we are lacking in those πŸ™‚

  30. #
    Katie — June 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    One thing I’ve always wanted to do…start a food blog or write food critics for local vegetarian restraints since we are lacking in that area

  31. #
    Marcia Snapp — June 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I would love to look up recipes with it and I would share it with my husband too.

  32. #
    Melissa — June 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I will use it to view blogs and store new cooking ideas!

  33. #
    Lindsay Elmore — June 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm


  34. #
    Erik — June 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    If I won the IPAD I would use it as an electronic recipe book/cookbook! I’ve been debating a tablet or an all-in-one PC to fill the role.

  35. #
    Stephanie-Oh — June 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    If I. Thanks! won I’d use this for recipes in the kitchen and reading e-books

  36. #
    DessertForTwo — June 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I will definitely use it for Pinterest!

  37. #
    carol roberts — June 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    use it to help my son learn that is what id use it for

  38. #
    Norma Gustafson — June 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I’ll use it for keeping in touch with family and friends, playing games as well as interacting with Pinterest and etsy

  39. #
    Meghan Finley — June 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I’d love not having to share the old ipad we have with a little one. There’s only so many Dora apps you can have before people wonder in public

  40. #
    Christine — June 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm


  41. #
    Rhonda — June 18, 2013 at 1:15 am

    I would use it to display recipes in the kitchen from blogs and pinterest, so I can make them. Also for reading, writing, music, games and socializing.

  42. #
    Edie — June 18, 2013 at 5:51 am

    We all share one iPad now and anyone who has “shared” something knows just how unequal that usually is. I’m always the one waiting around, if I win this…..hands off!

  43. #
    Edie — June 18, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Recipe searches would be so much easier on an iPad than on our old desk top far away from the kitchen.

  44. #
    Marilyn Martin — June 18, 2013 at 6:39 am

    I would use the iPad for so much! Cookbooks, photographs, sewing. EVERYTHING!

  45. #
    Paige — June 18, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I would surf for recipes, read great blogs and enjoy having a ipad mini.

  46. #
    Charlette — June 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Love the cocktail, it looks so refreashing! Love the idea of local vodka I will be trying this one. New IPad oh yeah! I would be on Pinterest and my food blogs all day long! Hubby would not like it but oh well! TFS

  47. #
    Amy Adams — June 18, 2013 at 10:17 am

    If I won the iPad, I would stage a war between it and my Kindle Fire πŸ™‚

  48. #
    Marnely Rodriguez-Murray — June 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I’d do tons of recipe searches in the kitchen with it!

  49. #
    Heather @girlichef — June 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Oh my garsh, this looks amazing! I cannot wait to see what happens during the boozy days of summer…oh the possibilities. And thanks for the chance to win, Brandy πŸ™‚

  50. #
    Heather @girlichef — June 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    …oh yeah, and I would use my iPad for taking all sorts of photos on the go! And lots of cocktail photos. πŸ˜‰

  51. #
    Kayla — June 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I would use for my senior year in college for example taking notes in class and during my internship

  52. #
    Karen - Cinnamon Freud — June 19, 2013 at 1:02 am

    I would probably use it for boring stuff like reading articles for school but also for fund stuff like finding recipes. Love this drink- perfect for summer!

  53. #
    liz — June 19, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I loove rhubarb!!! i would use the ipad to watch tv in bed–sounds so fabulously lazy

  54. #
    Shawn Augustine — June 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I love anything Rhubarb! I am doing a cocktail blog series this summer as well, #summersippers and will link back to this cocktail when I do Vodka!

  55. #
    Anne — June 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I’d use an iPad to access online and saved recipes in the kitchen, without having to print them out.

  56. #
    Windy Phillips — June 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    In all honesty, I will probably use it loads for social networking. πŸ™‚ But it will also get some exciting time being used for toddler apps and movies! Do I win the lame-o award? πŸ˜€

  57. #
    Sarah — June 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Love your blog & all your new & exciting recipes!! Would love to win the iPad so I could have your recipes handy on something other than my phone! πŸ™‚

  58. #
    Kate | Food Babbles — June 19, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    This drink is gorgeous! Love the pale pink color. It looks so refreshing and inviting. It’s calling my name. I love pairing herbs in unexpected places, like beverages. Lovely!

  59. #
    Kerry Lessaed — June 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Yep. Pretty sure a little plastic deity is going to be doing the backstroke in one of these pretty darn soon. Amen.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — June 20th, 2013 @ 11:41 am

      Amen! Little BJ is going to LOVE this!

  60. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — June 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Whoa girl! What a sweet giveaway! I love using basil in cocktails. I love it with lemon normally. I have a lot of rhubarb I have no idea what to do with so I must try this!

  61. #
    Ellen Renee — June 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    That drink is beautiful – the color especially. I would use the Ipad for blog and book reading.

  62. #
    Beth — June 21, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I’d use the iPad for reading and researching recipes (and probably for some school stuff, too). =)

  63. #
    Susan Audrey — June 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    That drink looks *perfect* for summertime. I’ll have to try one very soon on an especially hot day.

    If I won the iPad, I’d use it for deal hunting online and reading e-books. Thanks for the chance to win one!

  64. #
    Alexandra Williams — June 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I will probably be on Pinterest 24/7! πŸ™‚

  65. #
    AmyRuthy — June 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Permanently affix it to my kitchen island he he No sticky fingers

  66. #
    Angela M — June 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I can’t wait to try the cocktail! That iPad would get quite a workout- I promise!

  67. #
    Lesly — June 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I’d give it to my son who as a junior in high school is starting college this year. I’m so proud of him.

  68. #
    chantel — June 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    drink looks yummy… so does the ipad!!

  69. #
    Denise Osborn — June 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I would use it to look up info on baby stuff

  70. #
    Athena R — June 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I would actually gift it to my sweetie because I have an IPAD already.

  71. #
    Lauren M — June 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I would probably spend most of my time on food blogs and pinterest if I had an iPad!! πŸ™‚

  72. #
    Letty — June 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Great drink! I’m enjoying a nice glass of wine, but this… Man oh man. Now, if I had an iPad, I’d use it for looking at recipes while cooking. And streaming video. And playing Angry Birds…

  73. #
    AmyRuth — June 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    yep I do love your design and could totally have you over to my front porch for a sit on the swing and drink in “our” hands.

  74. #
    Bridget — June 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Ooo, can’t wait to try this recipe! and awesome giveaway!

  75. #
    Kristyn Kenney — June 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I would use it for my soap business with square!! And for homeschooling my 7 πŸ™‚

  76. #
    Betty Ann @Mango_Queen — June 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I love your rhubarb basil smash – looks so refreshing, perfect for today. I’d love to win an iPad. I just enjoy bringing it everywhere with me. And since I travel overseas a lot, it’s so easy to take out at airport security! Thanks and hope I win πŸ™‚

  77. #
    Yadira — June 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    This looks very refreshing!!!! would love to win the ipad!!!

  78. #
    Penny Mecklenburg — June 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    That drink looks so refreshing!!!

    If I won the iPad, I would use it in the kitchen to keep all of my recipes. I would also use it in bed at night to scour Pinterest!

  79. #
    Jessika — June 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    If I win the ipad I can use it to read my recipes on instead of having to print them then losing them all the time!!

  80. #
    Cristina Davis — June 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Rhubarb- hard to find in texas. Looks refreshing

  81. #
    Hideki Yamada — June 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    We will use an iPad to introduce our one year old son to the world of technology!

  82. #
    Denisa — June 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I would use it to read some books and play Angry Birds.

  83. #
    Monica — June 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Taking photos & video

  84. #
    karen — June 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    ipad would be lovely

  85. #
    carmel — June 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Oh my goodness! I would use it to pull up more recipes like this one!! Love to win. I would also use it to keep my grand daughter busy on the way to Disney World this summer!

  86. #
    Denise Van Aken — June 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I would read food blogs. What else is there?

  87. #
    Becca Entenberg — June 23, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I will use my iPad for looking at recipes!

  88. #
    Irene — June 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Oh my word! What would I use an iPad for? Pinterest. Due to that fact alone, I doubt the good Lord will let me win. Ha.

  89. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — June 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Great giveaway! I’d most certainly use it for looking up recipes while I’m in the kitchen. Although it would probably get used for entertaining the kids while I take pictures of the food instead, haha.

  90. #
    Calees — June 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I think I would surf the net and play games on an iPad when I have free time, but I’d love to use it as a calendar. I have issues with using calendars on my phone and don’t do so well keeping track of events planned a long ways out. It would help me keep more on top of what’s supposed to happen and I feel like I would be better organized than I am now, although I’m really striving to get better this summer.

  91. #
    Vanessa — June 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I will read my favorite food blog- Nutmeg Nanny!!!

  92. #
    Jo Ann Buller — June 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    i love to follow your blog. i love the recipes and things you post.

  93. #
    Kathy — June 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    I would use the ipad for school for my children and for organizing my schedules.

  94. #
    Lisa B — June 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Pretty food pics would look great in an iPad!


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