Strawberry Rhubarb Old Fashioned

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A classic bourbon old fashioned gets an upgrade for summer with the help of homemade strawberry rhubarb simple syrup. This strawberry rhubarb old fashioned combines the timeless charm of an old-fashioned with the bright and tangy notes of strawberries and rhubarb.

Get ready to taste your new favorite summer cocktail and beat the heat with this refreshing and delightful libation.

strawberry rhubarb old fashioned in glasses with strawberry and rhubarb garnish.

The classic old fashioned cocktail has long been cherished for its timeless simplicity and sophisticated flavor profile. But what if I told you that there’s a way to take this beloved drink to a whole new level? Enter the strawberry rhubarb old fashioned – a delightful variation that seamlessly incorporates the sweet tanginess of strawberries and rhubarb into the already perfect equation. It’s the perfect sweet cocktail recipe. 

Years ago I was never really a fan of bourbon, but I made it my mission to enjoy it and now I can’t get enough. (You may have noticed the plethora of bourbon-based cocktail recipes here on Inspired by Charm.) I typically think of bourbon as a winter liquor, so I’ve been experimenting with different ways to enjoy it in the summer. This might be my new favorite.

close up of strawberry rhubarb old fashioned in a rocks glass.

Why Strawberry and Rhubarb?

The combination of strawberry and rhubarb has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. This flavor combination is a staple in my family and almost no holiday dinner goes by without the addition of a strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert. So, I wondered if this flavor combo could work in an old-fashioned. Spoiler alert: it does! 

Strawberries, with their juicy sweetness, provide a burst of fruity flavor that balances perfectly with the richness of the bourbon. Strawberries add a touch of summery freshness, infusing the drink with a vibrant energy that is hard to resist. And when combined with the earthy tartness of rhubarb, the result is a beautiful symphony of tastes that dance across your palate.

Rhubarb, with its distinctive sourness, adds a tangy twist while bringing a subtle complexity to the drink, enhancing its overall flavor profile. The rhubarb’s unique flavor cuts through the sweetness of the strawberries and bourbon, creating a well-rounded cocktail that keeps you coming back for more.

strawberry rhubarb syrup in a canning jar with metal lid.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s a classic with a twist. I love taking traditional recipes and giving them a flavor upgrade. The Strawberry Rhubarb Old Fashioned takes the classic cocktail and elevates it to new heights, infusing it with the quintessential flavors of summer.
  • From the homemade strawberry rhubarb syrup to the carefully selected garnishes, every aspect of this drink has been thoughtfully crafted to ensure a truly remarkable beverage experience. 
  • Its vibrant flavors and inviting presentation make it the perfect signature cocktail for any summertime celebration

Are you a fan of rhubarb and want more rhubarb based recipes? You’ve got it. Check out this collection of the best rhubarb recipes.

Ready to get started? Let’s gather up the ingredients. 

strawberry rhubarb old fashioned made and served in a rocks glass with strawberry.

Ingredients

You only need a few key ingredients to shake up this fruity old-fashioned. 

  • Bourbon – Choose a high-quality bourbon that complements the fruity notes without overpowering them. Learn more about my go-to bourbon for old fashioned.
  • Strawberry rhubarb syrup – This was a recipe I made years ago; I would use it to craft a delicious strawberry rhubarb cake and strawberry rhubarb margaritas. I was thrilled to make this syrup again to craft this cocktail. You’re going to want to drizzle this syrup on everything. 
  • Rhubarb bitters – I had these rhubarb bitters on my bar cart and so it seemed like the perfect time to use them. However, there’s no need to go out and buy these if you don’t have them; traditional Angostura bitters are just as nice. 
  • Strawberries, rhubarb, and orange – I love cocktail garnishes, so I just used all three here. I recognize this a bit extra, so feel free to pick just one if you want to keep things simple. 

It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve become a big fan of the single large square ice cubes for serving an old-fashioned. This is the mold that I have and I love it. Don’t have a mold like this? Don’t worry, regular ice works just as well. 

How To Make

I’ll walk you through the steps for making this fruity cocktail below. I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the bourbon, strawberry rhubarb simple syrup, and orange peel. 
adding strawberry rhubarb old fashioned ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.

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  1. Shake vigorously. 
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice or a single large ice cube.
pouring a strawberry rhubarb old fashioned into a rocks glass with large ice cube.
  1. Garnish with strawberry, orange peel, and/or rhubarb.

Serve, cheese, and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

Now that you have this recipe mastered, why not switch things up and try a few variations? 

  • Experiment with Other Fruits: While strawberry and rhubarb make a perfect pair, don’t be afraid to venture into other fruit combinations. Try substituting strawberries with raspberries or blueberries, or combine different fruits for a unique twist. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to tailor your cocktail to your personal taste preferences or to take advantage of the fruits currently in season.
  • Adjust the Sweetness: The homemade strawberry rhubarb simple syrup brings a balanced sweetness to the old fashioned, but feel free to play with the syrup’s sugar content to suit your palate. If you prefer a slightly less sweet cocktail, reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup recipe. On the other hand, if you have a sweet tooth, consider adding a touch more sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruits.
  • Infuse with Herbs and Spices: Take your Strawberry Rhubarb Old Fashioned to the next level by adding herbs and spices to the mix. Experiment with muddled basil or mint leaves for a refreshing herbal twist. Alternatively, a few slices of ginger can add warmth and depth to the cocktail’s flavor profile. Get creative and let the herbs and spices elevate your cocktail game.
strawberry rhubarb old fashioned in a rocks glass served with strawberry and rhubarb garnish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s tackle some frequently asked questions to ensure you have all the information you need to become a summer cocktail aficionado.

Can I make the strawberry rhubarb simple syrup ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, making the syrup in advance is a great way to save time and be prepared for impromptu gatherings. Simply store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Give the syrup a good shake before using it to make sure the flavors are well incorporated.

Can I substitute the bourbon with a different type of alcohol?

While bourbon is the traditional choice for an old fashioned, you can experiment with other spirits to create a unique twist. For a lighter option, try using vodka or gin. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, rum or even tequila can work well. 

I don’t have fresh strawberries or rhubarb. Can I use frozen instead?

Absolutely! Frozen strawberries and rhubarb can work just as well in the simple syrup. Just make sure to thaw the strawberries and rhubarb completely before cooking them down. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly to allow for the extra moisture released by the frozen fruits.

strawberry rhubarb old fashioned in glasses with strawberry garnish.

More Bourbon Cocktails You May Enjoy

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or simply looking to unwind after a long day, the Strawberry Rhubarb Old Fashioned is sure to impress. Its unique blend of flavors and refreshing qualities will leave your taste buds begging for more. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! If you do, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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strawberry rhubarb old fashioned in glasses with strawberry garnish.

Strawberry Rhubarb Old-Fashioned

A classic bourbon old-fashioned gets an upgrade for summer with the help of homemade strawberry rhubarb simple syrup. This strawberry rhubarb old-fashioned combines the timeless charm of an old-fashioned with the bright and tangy notes of strawberries and rhubarb. Get ready to taste your new favorite summer cocktail and beat the heat with this refreshing and delightful libation.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon, cocktail, strawberry rhubarb
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 228kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon I like Four Roses Single Barrel
  • 1 ounce strawberry rhubarb simple syrup*
  • 2-3 dashes rhubarb bitters or traditional Angostura bitters
  • 1 piece orange peel
  • strawberry, orange peel, and/or rhubarb to garnish

Instructions

  • To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the bourbon, strawberry rhubarb simple syrup, and orange peel.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice or a single large ice cube.
  • Garnish with strawberry, orange peel, and/or rhubarb.

Notes

*Make your own strawberry rhubarb syrup at home with this easy recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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