Rhubarb Vodka

Rhubarb vodka. The simple homemade hooch–made from rhubarb, vodka, and sugar–makes a pretty spring tonic and guaranteed it’s what mom really wants for Mother’s Day.

A canning jar filled with rhubarb vodka and pieces of rhubarb with several crystal glasses partially filled with rhubarb vodka beside it.

Rhubarb vodka. Yep. It’s a thing. And you’re going to want to make this tipsy spring tonic again and again and again. The hooch that results from steeping these spring stalks with sugar and vodka will be a lovely shade of the palest of pinks that varies from one batch to the next, depending on just how potent the rhubarb. But rest assured, any which way, it’s spectacular. You know you want to try this. So go on.Renee Schettler Rossi

What To Do With Rhubarb Vodka (Hiccup)

Once you have a stash of rhubarb vodka, there are oh so many enticing ways to make it disappear. Splash some into sparkling wine. Cut it with club soda or seltzer. Sip it straight. Get all sorts of creative with its incarnations, experimenting with all manner of cocktails calling for orange or vanilla or pink peppercorns or whatever you fancy. It’s perhaps best poured into a fancy bottle and gifted—usually to gasps of awe ands surprise.

Rhubarb Vodka

A canning jar filled with rhubarb vodka and pieces of rhubarb with several crystal glasses partially filled with rhubarb vodka beside it.
Rhubarb vodka. The simple homemade hooch–made from rhubarb, vodka, and sugar–makes a pretty spring tonic and guaranteed it’s what mom really wants for Mother’s Day.

Prep 15 mins
Total 15 mins
24 servings
147 kcal
4.89 / 9 votes
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  • Patience


  • 1 pound young pink rhubarb stalks trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch lengths (about 4 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar or less to taste
  • 3 3/4 cups vodka


  • Place the rhubarb in a 1 1/2-quart jar. Add the sugar and shake everything together. Place the lid on the jar but do not seal it tightly. Let the sugar and rhubarb sit overnight at room temperature to draw the juice from the stalks, shaking or stirring the mixture occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  • The next morning, pour the vodka into the jar, shake, and seal. Let sit at room temperature for 4 weeks, shaking the jar every so often. [Editor's Note: Yep. You heard us. Four weeks. Patience. It's a virtue.]
  • To sip your rhubarb liqueur, pour the liqueur out into glasses or strain everything through a cheesecloth-lined nylon strainer into a bottle. The rhubarb vodka will keep for a year, though the pretty pale hue will fade with time.
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Infused Vodka Variation

Peach Liqueur
Make the same as for the rhubarb liqueur, filling the jar with ripe peaches (or apricots), preferably organic, that you’ve pitted and sliced.
Lemon Vodka
Peel the zest from 1 lemon, preferably organic, cutting away any bitter white pith. Add the zest to 4 cups vodka in a large jar. Let sit for 2 to 4 days, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Strain the vodka into a bottle.
Dill Vodka
Make the same as for the lemon, but use sprigs of dill instead of lemon zest into the vodka.
Cinnamon and Cardamom Vodka
Put 1 cinnamon stick and 2 cardamom pods in the vodka (you can just add these straight to the bottle), and leave them there indefinitely. No need to strain the vodka before imbibing. Good for winter imbibing.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 2ouncesCalories: 147kcal (7%)Carbohydrates: 15g (5%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 55mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 15g (17%)Vitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 16mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I had a bag of frozen rhubarb from my garden and was looking for something to do with it. This rhubarb vodka recipe definitely fit the bill, as I was hoping it’ll bring a hint of spring when I need it most. I used frozen rhubarb and the finished product is a pretty pale pink and full of rhubarb flavor. The only difficult part about making this liqueur is waiting for it to steep for 4 weeks! I tried it straight, on the rocks, with a squeeze of lime, and with cranberry juice for a rhubarb Cosmo (nice!). I think it would have been perfect with some club soda and an orange slice, but I had neither in the house. It is more potent than it appears, so the addition of club soda would be welcome. And that combo would make a very nice summer cocktail!I only made half the amount indicated in the recipe, so my measurements reflect that. My rhubarb was already cut into 3/4 inch pieces, so I estimated how many would make up a stalk and I tried to pick the pinkest ones. This ended up being about 3 1/2 cups frozen rhubarb. I defrosted it and drained it for 20 minutes or so to remove excess water. I added the sugar and shook the jar periodically whenever I thought of it. All the sugar dissolved in a few hours. The next day, I added the vodka to the mixture. I could cut back on the sugar a bit, as I found it a little sweet for my taste.

This is a work in progress. I made kumquat liqueur rather than rhubarb. I used 2 pounds kumquats, 1 1/2 pounds sugar, and 7 cups vodka. These ingredients have been swimming around in a large glass jar with a rubber seal for 10 days. The small sips that I snitched the first several days and weeks by dipping a spoon into the jar seemed very promising. Over the past year, my kumquat liqueur has been lovely for sipping. The kumquats, along with the liqueur they have been swimming in, have also made a wonderful topping for warm, moist gingerbread. Last weekend I actually came across a long-forgotten bottle of the liqueur in a cabinet. The liqueur was still crystal clear. It was a marvelous digestif after a heavy but delicious dinner of port-braised lamb shanks, and it also went beautifully with a simple apple tart for dessert. I look forward to sipping more of this, thanks to the newly discovered bottle. And, as luck would have it, kumquats are cropping up in the market once again. Perhaps another batch will soon be in the works.

Originally published May 10, 2018



  1. Yes, it’s wonderful rhubarb springtime again. My husband concocted this drink a few years ago and every June I give gift bags of all the mixins to friends.

    Off Pink Cocktail
    2 oz Rhubarb Vodka
    1 oz Cointreau
    1 1/4 oz Lime Juice
    1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters

    Shake well over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lime wheel.

  2. I am about to mix this up and wait 4 loooooong weeks! I am just wondering if anyone has a suggestion for using the rhubarb that has been soaking in the vodka, when you strain it out? Thanks.

    1. Great question, Colleen. The fruit will be quite soft and boozy after its long soak, and many of our readers have cooked it down along with strawberries or blueberries to make a compote, though I personally think rhubarb makes a lovely compote all on its own. The leftover fruit or compote could be swirled into yogurt or spooned over ice cream. My personal favorite is to use it as a topping for cornmeal cakes or waffles.

  3. 5 stars
    Time for my annual rhubarb vodka! And once again, it’s delicious. This year has been rough… wouldn’t you agree? Previous years, I was more likely to mix with soda water; but this year, straight up! Next time I will reduce the sugar a bit, but I love the vibrant color and tartness of the rhubarb. I also made rhubarb-blueberry compote after the vodka was done. Thumbs up!

    1. Gorgeous, Julie! And not that you ever need a justification for making yourself some rhubarb-infused booze, but yes, this year has been trying. I prefer to look at it through your rose-colored glass…

  4. 5 stars
    With this recipe, I’ve found my new summer drink. It is pleasing to the eye as well as the taste buds. The vodka is a beautiful, vibrant, jewel-toned pink. It is delicious sipped on its own. But I also loved it mixed with soda water, a splash of blood orange liqueur, and lime. Sweet (but not too sweet), tart, and refreshing…my new summer drink!

    I have yet to make the compote that Renee mentions in a previous comment, but will make that this weekend. And with berries in abundance at the farmer’s market, I’ll likely make it a strawberry-rhubarb compote.

    A tall glass of pink rhubarb vodka

    1. Juliee, I adore all your suggestions, thank you for sharing! And strawberry-rhubarb anything makes me sigh. Enjoy! Looking forward to hearing what you think of it or any other recipe from the site that you may decide to try…

  5. When you add the vodka, it says to seal the jar. Does that mean just put the lid on tight or, seal the jar by boiling it to get it to seal?

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