Yeah you got me. There are no healthy cocktails, but this rhubarb-based tipple is trying really hard. It harks back to traditional cocktail making when ‘shrubs‘, or vinegar-based syrups, were created from boiling up botanicals, and looks forward to the future of health-focused fermented drinks like kombucha, due to its acidic nature. Add in the dose of fruit (5 a day?), Juniper Green organic gin and a sprig of fresh rosemary and it’s practically a green juice.

Good for your insides, or just good for you soul? I actually don’t care because it tastes bloody amazing AND if you make it this weekend, you’ll be able to grab the last of the British rhubarb before it’s gone for another year. It was still in stock in Sainsbury’s on Thursday afternoon, FYI.



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  • 450g fresh rhubarb, cut into chunks
  • 4 inch piece of ginger, washed and chopped into 2 cm rounds
  • 150ml of cider vinegar
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 60ml of your favourite gin
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ice
  • soda water to top up
  • a sprig of rosemary to garnish


Combine the rhubarb, ginger, vinegar and sugar in a pan and simmer until the rhubarb starts to break down, about 15 minutes should do it. Leave to cool, then strain through a sieve to create your shrub syrup.

To assemble, add gin, the juice of half a lime, around 45mls of shrub syrup (depending how sour you like it) and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake liberally, then strain into a glass over ice and top with soda water.

Add the rosemary garnish for a final flourish.


Styling & photography: Emma Scott-Child