In the wake of Summer Solstice, I’m so excited to share the first clean COCKTAIL of the season here at JustineCelina! Those of you who follow along with my Instagram Stories will know this one has been in testing since early April, when the first rhubarb of year starting popping up in my local farmer’s markets. This year I hosted the special ladies in my life for Mother’s Day brunch and created this signature cocktail inspired by them to celebrate the occasion! I’m happy to report my Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz received rave reviews after 15 rounds of testing and perfecting — my Mom even exclaimed “Now that’s a keeper!” upon first sip!
My Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz typifies the season in a jubilant celebration of all things feminine, fruity and nostalgic. Rhubarb and raspberries have always reminded me of my Grandmother’s garden and berry picking at the family farm — so I channeled some of my fondest childhood memories into this cheerful libation! A summer-inspired trio of rhubarb, raspberries and honey combine in a scratch-made Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup to infuse this effervescent cocktail with seasonal panache, beautifully complimented by sparkling rosé, local craft vodka, soda water, fresh lime juice and a dash of bitters. Enjoy this pretty, Pantone Living Coral inspired spritz with the special ladies in your life this summer — it’s the perfect menu addition for your next summer soirée, brunch, baby or bridal shower, or girls night in! Cheers!
RASPBERRY RHUBARB ROSÉ SPRITZ
Everyone raves about the combination of strawberries and rhubarb. In fact, if you’re here I’m willing to bet you love rhubarb and likely have a favourite strawberry rhubarb recipe! But have you ever tried raspberries and rhubarb? The combination is absolutely out-of-this-world incredible!
Something about the tartness and complexity of both raspberries and rhubarb combine to create the most delicious pairing, which I’ve channeled into this cocktail in the form of Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup. It offers a fruity, flavourful, refined sugar free backdrop to this lighthearted summer spritz — and I promise if you’ve never made your own flavoured simple syrup at home it’s so simple to do. I’m going to walk you through the process, step-by-step!
This recipe makes enough Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup for approximately 17 cocktails (ideal for hosting large groups!), so although my Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz requires some extra prep time up-front to create the syrup, it’s absolutely wonderful to have on hand during the summer (I also love the compote the recipe produces and use it like a jam or preserve). With a batch stocked in the fridge, you can whip together a simple, refreshing summer-inspired cocktail anytime with just a handful of additional ingredients!
For this cocktail, I used a variety of dry, sparkling rosé wines in testing, but photographed this post with Baillie-Grohman’s limited edition 2015 Tète de Cuvèe Brut, which I picked up during our recent Kootenay vacation (and see it’s no longer available online, unfortnately!). Really, any dry, fruity sparkling rosé will work — Spanish and Italian varities were among my other favourites in this recipe!
If you’ve swung by our bar over the years, you’ll know what a huge fan of Eau Claire Distillery I am — but I’d actually never used their incredible Three Point Vodka in a cocktail! Hand-down, it’s the best vodka I’ve ever tasted — creamy, buttery smooth and absolutely lovely in my Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz. Of course, if you can’t get your hands on Eau Claire, any premium vodka will do (although I highly recommend you try it if you’re able to!).
My Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz is another hybrid cocktail (hey — I don’t really do traditional around here!) — part summer spritz, part sangria and a whole lot of fun, fruit-forward deliciousness! Alright ladies, who’s ready for a refreshment?!
RASPBERRY RHUBARB ROSÉ SPRITZ
• 1 oz premium vodka (I like Eau Claire Distillery’s Three Point Vodka)
• 2 oz dry, fruity sparkling rosé
• 2 oz soda water
• 2 oz Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup (recipe to follow)
• 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
• 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
• Rhubarb ribbons
• Fresh raspberries
• Edible flowers
HONEYED RASPBERRY RHUBARB SYRUP
Yield: Approximately 2 1/4 cups
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup honey
• Zest from 1 lime
• 2 cups rhubarb
• 1 pint raspberries
1. Start by making your Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup. In a saucepan over medium / high heat, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup honey and the zest from 1 lime. Bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add chopped rhubarb and whole raspberries. Stir boiling mixture constantly for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
3. Strain the saucepan contents into a bowl over a fine mesh strainer, using a mixing spoon to aid in separation if necessary.
4. Reserve the Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup (bowl contents) for the cocktail. The Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Compote left in the strainer is also delicious (I love to enjoy it over oatmeal!). Both will keep for up to a week, refrigerated.
Note: My Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup also freezes very well if you’d like to save half a batch for later!
5. Optional: to make rhubarb ribbons, use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to shave thin ribbons off of your rhubarb stalks. I used rhubarb that had been sitting in the fridge (and was a bit soft) to create these, but ideally you want them to have a bit of bend. If you ribbons are firm, you can achieve softer ribbons by blanching them for a few moments before twirling them around the inside of your glass. Feel free to skip this step — your cocktail will be delicious either way!
6. Build your Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz in a cocktail shaker by adding 8 ice cubes, along with all ingredients. Shake vicariously, until cocktail shaker becomes cold.
7. Add 5 – 6 fresh ice cubes to a cocktail glass. Strain shaker contents overtop.
8. Garnish with fresh raspberries, lime and / or edible flowers.
9. Serve immediately and enjoy!
SMOKED PEACH MAPLE BOURBON SMASH
This summer-meet-autumn sip juxtaposes the essence of juicy late summer fruit with a smoky grilled edge, infused with spicy autumnal warmth and to create the ultimate transitional cocktail that's equal parts sweet 'n spicy. If you still haven't had your fill of late summer peaches, get your grill on and imbibe this simple but sassy cocktail sure to impress both bourbon lovers and bourbon skeptics (believe it or not, I was the latter prior to this cocktail) alike! As always, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar -- and brimming with better-for-you ingredients, because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Grilled Okanagan peaches, Smoked Maple Bourbon, 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh thyme, spicy ginger beer, fresh lemon juice, a splash of soda water and a dash of bitters are shaken to perfection and served over ice in this quintessentially September libation!
Grilled peach slice
Sprig of fresh thyme
- Edible flowers
Start by firing up your grill and setting it to high heat. Grilling the peaches not only leaves delicious grill marks and a beautiful char on the fruit, it softens the peaches perfectly so they're able to break down in the cocktail shaker. That said, if you don't have access to a grill, set your oven to broil.
While the grill / oven comes up to temperature, wash and halve a fresh peach, removing the pit. Coat fresh with a thin layer of 100% pure Canadian maple syrup and set aside.
Add peach halves to a clean, hot, freshly oiled (I find Canola Oil works best) grill. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, or until a light char appears on fruit. If you're broiling, broil fruit for 2 minutes or until maple syrup starts to bubble and caramelize.
Remove peach halves from grill (or oven) and turn grill (or oven) off. Set aside to cool while you prepare the cocktail shaker.
Build your Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash in a cocktail shaker by adding 8 ice cubes along with a grilled peach halve, sprig of fresh thyme, bitters and bourbon. Shake vicariously, until cocktail shaker becomes cold and the peach is throughly broken down.
Add 4 fresh ice cubes to a cocktail glass. Strain shaker contents overtop. It will take some effort to get most of the peach flesh out of the strainer, so keep shaking until your cocktail glass is more than half full (if your hand gets too cold, wrap a kitchen towel around the shaker!).
Top with spicy ginger beer, fresh lemon juice and soda water. Stir to combine.
Garnish your Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash with a grilled peach segment, a sprig of fresh thyme and / or edible flowers.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
MORE BRUNCH-APPROPRIATE COCKTAILS & SANGRIAS
Are you a rhubarb lover? We’re at peak season here in Alberta and I’m always looking for new ways to work with it (I’m going to whip up a crumble this weekend, too!). If you have an abundance of rhubarb on your hands this summer and are looking for some fresh ideas, I hope I’ve inspired you to experiment with rhubarb cocktails (you can also check out my Autumn Harvest Soup with Roasted Squash Seeds if you’re looking for rhubarb meal ideas!).
Did you try my Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz? I love it when you tag me in your recreations so I can see what you’re whipping up at home! Please leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (use the hashtag #justinecelinacocktails in your recreations on social!). I also have a Pinterest board for my recipes and a newer board exclusively for my cocktails if you’re looking for more better-for-you cocktail options with clean ingredients. Cheers, friends — thanks for stopping by for a cocktail today!
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