Name That Farmers Market Cocktail

Nothing takes me back to my childhood in Michigan like the smell of rhubarb. That and of course screaming out various words used to describe a woman’s reproductive parts and then running  from the law. In the summertime, when we had enough of the MI mosquitoes, we would drive out to visit family in the great state of Minnesota where the insect is the state bird. My grandmother, a staunch Swede, had an incredible garden which she protected from outside predators with various weapons. I can only imagine what she would think of this this mamby-pamby business we have in B-ville of saving every critter that invades your garden. If critter threatened your crop, critter must die. There was no discussion. But being a good Christian woman, she would always insist on a prayer before burial–after all, she was not a heathen and the dead (fill in the blank) was a creature of God.

Rhubarb, a hearty plant with poisonous leaves and a sour but an edible stalk, was always a standard in her garden. The critters, as well as a May frost, did not seem to bother the leafy, red stalked plant. She would make rhubarb crunch, rhubarb tea, rhubarb “dessert” or rhubarb salad. “Salad” or “dessert” were words usually used to describe a dish that contained Jello, mini marshmallows, flaked coconut, oleo and or whipped topping. As a child I learned to avoid any dish with the word “glorified” in the name as it would usually taste like throw-up (and, yes, I have tried my fair share of throw-up).

So if you have ever wondered what in the Sam Gustafson to do with the rhubarb you see for sale in farmer’s markets I present you with a few options. The recipes pictured are from the “1969 Messiah Ladies Guild Tasting Lunch Book,” my grandmother’s Lutheran Church. I have the books from 1968-1985. Each one contains at least one recipe containing rhubarb glorified and not so glorified.

Rhubarb and pulp


  • 1-2 liters of good lemonade
  • 3-4 stalks of fresh rhubarb
  • Sparkling white wine
  • Vodka
  • Basil


If you have the time and are not a last minute Suzy like me, cut the rhubarb into 1/2″ chunks and let it steep in the water for a few days. If you are short on time or you simply cannot wait to make one of these babies and pour it down your gullet, try this:

  • Cut the rhubarb up into 1/2″ chunks (about 4 cups)
  • Pour boiling water over the chopped rhubarb enough to cover all of the pieces. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Take the rhubarb with the water and throw it into the blender. Blend well.
  • Strain liquid through sieve and wring the pulp with your hands until you get most of the liquid out
  • Pour the strained mixture into a pitcher and add lemonade until it is full. You can stop here for a refreshing non-alcoholic bevy.
  • In a tall glass with ice, pour sparkling wine until the glass is half full. Top it off with rhubarb-lemonade and a torn or muddled basil leaf.

If too much white wine gives you a headache in the heat, try adding a shot of vodka and a touch of the sparkling wine.

If you are drinking in the heat or sun, be sure to drink plenty of water while consuming any type of boozy bevy or–trust me–you will feel glorified for about an hour and like Jello salad the next day.

Rhubarb available at The Montclair Farmer’s Market and Kings

So  Baristaville what shall we call this refreshing, sweet and tart bevy?

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  1. A “Rhu the day” cocktail. As in I rue the day I drank too many of Holly’s Rhubarb cocktails.

  2. Mrs. M… you always seem to hit the nail on the head – with early returns just in, I’d say you got my vote.

  3. The Rhu-de Girl! Of course, Holly your childhood sounds great, and so does that cocktail.

    I love rhubarb, I make a compote to eat with yoghurt. Just simmer with some lemon juice and sugar.

  4. I vote for every single entry above. they are all great.
    Here are some more entries:
    Rhu the Day
    Rhu You
    the Stalk Market
    That’s Rhudiculous
    Rhumer Godden
    Klaus Rhubarbie
    Rhubarbed Wire
    Sour Power
    RhuStalk Nation
    Do I aRhuse You?
    We are not aRhused
    A Rhuse of Power
    Rhu of Sunshine
    Wine and Rhuses
    Stalk to me
    Stalk is Cheap
    Stalks and Bondage
    Winestalk Nation
    Rhute of all Evil
    A Sharp Rhutort

  5. They could serve these drinks at some of our wonderful local restaurants, such as Toro Rhushi Bar, the Stalkpot, Little Rhuba, Reservoir Rhustaurant, Rhuta’s, Rhucina 98, Cluck-Rhu Chicken, Sweet Rhulish, Pizza Rhut, Rhue Amici Rhustaurant, and even Rhuman Gourmet.

  6. The name of the drink is I’LL PARK IN THE DISABLED SPOT IF I FEEL LIKE IT

    Went to the Montclair Farmers market today – with my newly disabled hubby – he’s in a wheelchair having lost his right leg- no prosthesis yet-found a Pennsylvannia SUV parked accross the 1 disabled spot in the lot. Left a note on the car. Had no time to call the police. If it happens again I will and will wait for them to tow and ticket.

    Why do people do this $hit?

  7. Speaking of buddy Conan has moved to Santa Barbara and is probably touring one of the 38 local wineries.

  8. Oh no I didn’t pick a winner from the last NTC. Nellie pick one for me, I have a float to build.

  9. There are always so many good ones, but I would pick the Rhuby Slipper. I can’t pick you, wallerhu, because I submitted it.

  10. I can truly picture myself going into a bar and saying, “I’ll have a Rhuby Slipper on the rocks. Make it a double.”

  11. Tequilling Me Softly is by far the winner of the Cinco contest.

    I’ll have one of those with my Rhuby Slipper.

  12. Greetings from cool and sunny Santa Barbara. It is true: after 13 years in Baristaville an excellent career opportunity for She Who Must Be Obeyed has brought us to this beautiful little paradise. The house in Bloomfield sold quickly, I gave away the snow blower, and I am working from home for my employer in New Jersey. Just have to get up a little earlier, but that gives me the afternoons to explore. We may have picked the one place in which it is more expensive to live than Baristaville — think of Essex Fells with palm trees — but what the hey, it is only money. Looking out at our peach tree and lemon tree and thinking of inventing a cocktail. HollY? We did attend a Wine Festival at the SB Museum of Natural History on Saturday. Over 30 wineries in the county, many of them specializing in pinot noir, but lots of great red blends and crispy sauvignon blancs, too. This will take some getting used to, but I think we can handle it…

  13. How about a cocktail called Green with Envy? My remark, of course, is directed at Conan. 🙂

  14. Martta — after surviving several corporate relocations to somewhat less than desireable places (Bakersfield, CA, Springdale, AR) this one is just making up for all of those others… 🙂 Come visit! I will send you our email from the home computer as soon as it gets here which is supposed to be Thursday.

  15. Thanks, Conan, and regards to SWSNBN!

    The only places my job has ever sent me were to the outer boroughs. Oh, yes, and D.C. once.

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