Rhubarb Bitters Recipe

This post is a long-time coming.  We waited all spring for rhubarb to appear in our local grocery store so we could make rhubarb bitters.


Like our recipes for root beer bitters and cranberry bitters, we started this recipe by reviewing Brad Thomas Parsons’ recipe and working from there. BTP’s recipe calls for unique and hard to find ingredients. So instead of following his recipes to a T, we looked for substitutes, and also added some additional flavoring agents to further differentiate the flavor profile. We hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
Zest of 1/2 grapefruit, cut into strips
Zest of 1/2 orange, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, cracked
1 teaspoon cardamom, cracked
1/4 teaspoon gentian root
1/2 teaspoon dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 teaspoon spearmint
1/2 teaspoon sarsaparilla
2 cups high-proof vodka
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients except the honey and water in a mason jar. Make sure the vodka covers all the fruit. Cover and shake well. Let stand in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking the jar daily.

Step 2: After 2 weeks, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined funnel or sieve into a clean container. Repeat until all sediment is filtered. Transfer solids to a small saucepan. Seal the jar & set aside.

Step 3: Cover the solids in the saucepan with 1 cup water & bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat, cover & simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Remove saucepan from heat & cool. Once cooled, add saucepan contents to a jar. Seal the jar & store as above for 1 week, shaking the jar daily.

Step 5: After 1 week, strain the jar with the solids & liquids through a cheesecloth-lined funnel into a clean container. Repeat until all sediment has been filtered out. Compost the solids. Add this liquid to the jar containing the original vodka solution. (Note: the mixture will be very sticky, a sieve will work much better and more efficiently than cheesecloth during this step.)

Step 6: Add the honey to the solution. Seal the jar & shake to fully dissolve. Store the jar as above for 3 days, then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined funnel to remove sediment.

Step 7: Decant the bitters into bottles. Shake before using if the bitters are cloudy.

We know how difficult it is to find these ingredients, and we offer four ways to procure your own rhubarb bitters on our Etsy Shop.

1. DIY Bitters Kit, including mason jar, cheesecloth, and Spice Pack to make your own bitters;

2. DIY Bitters Spice Pack, which includes only the spices;

3. Rhubarb Bitters in 5 oz. bottles; and

4. Rhubarb Bitters in 1 oz. bottles.


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