Rhubarb Margaritas

Let’s make one thing clear: prickly pear margaritas will always be my ne plus ultra, my numero uno, my BAE, my unshakeable and enduring true love in the world of margaritas.

But when it comes to pink drinks, I can make room for a few more loves in my life. Especially when it’s rhubarb season.

With their vivid color, rhubarb margaritas could nearly pass for prickly pear margaritas in a (very tasty) cocktail lineup.

rhubarb margarita
Photo: Casey Barber

And both rhubarb stalks and prickly pears have a similar flavor base profile—vegetal and earthy. But where prickly pear is delicately sweet, rhubarb is brightly tart.

Think of them as the folklore and evermore of margaritas, if you will. (Assuming you’re a Taylor Swift fan, which why would you not be?!?)

They’re two similar but individual ingredients, complementary to one another but each holding their own charms.

rhubarb margaritas
Photo: Casey Barber

I tried to combine rhubarb and prickly pear syrup in one ultimate margarita, but it was a case of the whole not being more than the sum of its parts.

The separate flavors weren’t easily discernible and the two syrups seemed to cancel each other out.

So let’s appreciate rhubarb all on its own in this recipe. Let’s give it the neon pink spotlight!

rhubarb margaritas
Photo: Casey Barber

To make rhubarb margaritas, you need to start with rhubarb syrup.

It doesn’t take much—just sugar and a touch of water—to temper the tartness of the stalks and bring out that seductive earthiness.

And wouldn’t you know it, those earthy notes sing in harmony with agave, the big and bold succulent that gives tequila its signature flavor. It layers on the vegetal sweetness with a hint of peppery bite.

Though it’s not a traditional margarita ingredient, I like to add a little more spice to my rhubarb margaritas by using ginger liqueur in place of the usual orange liqueur. (Domaine de Canton is a popular brand.)

rhubarb margarita

But if you’d like to keep it on the citrus side of things, you can switch it back to Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

This recipe makes enough rhubarb syrup for five margaritas, but you can easily double it for even more sweet rhubarb adventures.

Other Mix-Ins For Rhubarb Syrup

  • plain seltzer
  • flavored seltzer, like coconut or lime
  • lemon gin or grapefruit gin
  • plain kombucha
  • unsweetened iced tea for a Rhubarb Palmer
rhubarb margaritas

Rhubarb Margaritas

Yield: 2 drinks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Rhubarb margaritas get their color and flavor from a homemade sweet-tart rhubarb syrup that's a perfect complement for tequila and lime.


Rhubarb Syrup

  • 1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1- to 2-inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) lime juice (from 2-3 limes; don't squeeze them until you rim the glasses)
  • kosher salt (optional)
  • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) rhubarb syrup
  • 3 fluid ounces (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) tequila
  • 1 fluid ounce (2 tablespoons) ginger liqueur or orange liqueur such as Cointreau


    Make the rhubarb syrup:

    1. Add the rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
    2. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid comes to a simmer.
    3. Continue cooking, stirring gently once in a while, until the rhubarb is completely cooked down and slumps into a loose jammy texture.
    4. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, stirring the rhubarb to release as much liquid as possible.
    5. You'll get about 1 1/4 cups total rhubarb syrup, which is enough for 5 margaritas; save the remaining syrup for your next round.
    6. Cool to room temperature before making cocktails.

    Make the margaritas:

    1. Cut a lime in half and run it around the rims of 2 12-ounce cocktail glasses or margarita glasses.
    2. Dip the rims of the glasses in kosher salt.
    3. Fill a cocktail shaker with a handful of regular old ice cubes from the freezer.
    4. Fill the cocktail glasses with pebble ice (if you want to make it; it's awesome) or crushed ice.
    5. Add the lime juice, rhubarb, tequila, and ginger or orange liqueur to the cocktail shaker.
    6. Close the shaker, and shake shake shake it up for at least 30 seconds.
    7. Use a Hawthorne strainer to divide the margaritas between the two cocktail glasses like a pro.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 822Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 548mgCarbohydrates: 175gFiber: 4gSugar: 119gProtein: 2g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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