This cocktail came about because of a super fun photo shoot I was doing for this site. We needed to shoot me making drinks and handling bottles, and somehow this drink was born. We had some fresh mint on the bar top, for color and as set dressing, but it looked so inviting. And I had about 1/3 of a whole lemon sitting on the cutting board. I knew lemon and rhubarb were a perfect match, because we had just made the Queen Bee and who doesn't love lemon and mint together?
So I threw them in the bottom of my shaker and muddled them well. Then I added a healthy dose of the Simply Rhubarb shrub and swirled it around. A quick taste let me know I was onto something. The lemon played bridge between the mint and the rhubarb, letting them play better together than I hoped. Meanwhile the sweetness of the shrub subdued the frostiness of the mint letting more herbal/green notes come forward.
I knew a more assertive spirit, like gin, would wreck the delicate balance working here so I reached for vodka. Now, for the most part I'm not a vodka drinker. I have such a love affair with the more pronounced spirits that I don't often reach for it. It is, after all, the color black of the spirits world. But here, I was able to bring in a local craft vodka with a creamy mouth feel and subtle notes of vanilla custard. It rounded the edges off the shrub/mint/lemon mixture and brought them into a perfect harmony. After a good shake and a double strain, we tasted.
Grassy green flavors with a refreshing minty finish, with a good strong rhubarb middle and notes of bitterness from the lemon peel. This was really refreshing and delightfully different. I hope you get a chance to make this soon.
2-3 sprigs fresh mint
.5 ounce lemon juice plus a strip of peel, or about 1/3 a lemon
1 ounce Simply Rhubarb shrub
2 ounces local craft vodka
In a shaker, muddle mint and lemon. Add shrub and vodka and fill with ice. Shake well, about 20 seconds or until the shaker is quite frosty. Double strain into a chilled bucket or cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and one bruised mint leaf.