Spring is finally in the air. The flowers are blooming, the sun is coming out, and graduation is quickly approaching. It’s time to celebrate and be thankful for the new season and all of the beautiful aspects that accompany its arrival. This Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail is the perfect drink to have in hand while appreciating the blossoming cherry and apple trees.

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The Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail features in-season produce to highlight the bounty of spring. Rhubarb is a stalk vegetable that is treated as a fruit and used in making jams, pies, and other desserts. Its tanginess makes it a perfect counterpart to sweeter fruits such as strawberries. Rhubarb season runs from April to June, and you should be able to find it at your local farmers market around now. To balance out its sour nature, this recipe has you make the rhubarb into a rhubarb simple syrup. That way, the drink isn’t too sour, and the sweetest part of the cocktail recipe is balanced out by the tanginess of the rhubarb. Plus, the rhubarb syrup is an incredibly bright pink that will make you in awe of the natural colors you can find in nature.

This Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail, as evidenced by its name, also includes the Mediterranean herb thyme. Thyme is one of the many herbs in season right now, and its earthy, slightly lemony flavors provide an interesting complement to the rhubarb. To infuse flavors of thyme into this cocktail, you will be shaking your gin with the herb. 

Gin is a perfect alcohol to use in the Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail because its botanical-heavy nature adds another element of herbs and spices to the drink on a more subtle level. Gin is traditionally made with juniper berries, but it typically also includes a wide array of other botanicals in its distilling process. Some examples of botanicals that are commonly used include: lemon, coriander, angelica, cardamom, and cinnamon. Using a locally-made gin, such as St. George’s Botanivore if you are a Bay Area resident, keeps this cocktail focused on local and in-season ingredients. If you don’t have any locally-made gins you want to try, I recommend using a drier gin like Beefeater.

Lemonade is used as the mixer for this drink because its bright and refreshing flavors bring to mind warm spring days and picnics in the park. It's the perfect hint of summer that's just around the corner. The pale yellow of the lemonade layers beautifully with the bright pink of the rhubarb syrup in the Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail making a stunning sunset-like gradient in your glass.

For an added pop of color, garnish this drink with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. However, you could also garnish the drink with a lemon wheel on the rim of your glass.

You can make this cocktail in individual servings or as a pitcher to share with friends by multiplying the recipe for however many people who want a drink.

Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 4 rhubarb stalks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 ounces gin
  • 4-5 sprigs thyme
  • Lemonade as needed
  • Ice
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  • Step 1

    Chop rhubarb into half-inch chunks.

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  • Step 2

    Combine water, sugar, and rhubarb in a small pot.

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  • Step 3

    Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until rhubarb has fallen apart.

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  • Step 4

    Strain out rhubarb pieces from the syrup.

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  • Step 5

    Combine gin, rhubarb syrup, 3 sprigs of thyme, and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well.

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  • Step 6

    Strain into a small glass with ice.

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  • Step 7

    Fill the rest of the glass with lemonade.

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  • Step 8

    Garnish with additional sprigs of thyme and serve immediately.

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This Rhubarb Spring Thyme Cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to your next garden party, picnic, or brunch. Its refreshing flavors using in-season produce make it a true celebration of springtime. This cocktail will make the last bit of your spring semester fly by, and it will still be there to celebrate with you when you finish!