Rhubarb-Ginger Cooler Recipe

Tangy rhubarb flavors this booze-free beverage. . Lauren Rothman

Why This Recipe Works

  • Tart rhubarb is balanced with sugar and accented with orange zest, ginger, and allspice for a versatile syrup.
  • Rhubarb syrup, spicy ginger beer, and a good hit of lime juice combine to make a unique and flavorful drink, without the alcohol.

I'm making the last few days of the rhubarb season count by preparing my very favorite spring crop in every way I can imagine: in a classic compote, to be paired with tart yogurt; roasted in the oven and spooned over pound cake; and simmered into a delicate, rose-pink syrup that I shake into cocktails and stir into pitcher drinks for a crowd.

When it comes to hosting brunches, I tend to reach for the booze, serving loaded Bloody Marys or puckery Greyhounds, but now that my sister-in-law is pregnant I've spent a lot more time thinking about well-crafted drinks that don't need any alcohol to be darned delicious. The key is layering flavors to build depth: while you can just squeeze a lime in seltzer, it doesn't take much more effort to make a drink that's way more interesting.

This bubbly sipper is one of my very favorites: I take ginger beer— for me, the spicier the better—and add a rhubarb syrup that I've accented with fresh ginger, fragrant orange zest, and a few allspice berries for a warm, well-rounded flavor.

Plenty of fresh lime juice keeps the drink from straying into too-sweet territory, resulting in a fizzy, refreshing libation that's great alongside French toast or eggs.

Can't resist boozing it up? Slip a little dark rum into your glass for one of the best Dark 'n' Stormies you'll ever try.

Recipe Details

Rhubarb-Ginger Cooler Recipe

Active 5 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 6 servings


For the Rhubarb Syrup:

  • 2 cups sliced rhubarb

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1-inch section fresh ginger, smashed

  • 2 tablespoons zest from 1 orange

  • 3 allspice berries

For the Pitcher Drink:

  • 2 tablespoons rhubarb syrup

  • 1/4 cup juice from 2 to 3 limes, strained

  • 6 cups (48 ounces) spicy ginger beer, such as Bruce Cost

  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges for garnish (optional)


  1. For the Rhubarb Syrup: Combine rhubarb, sugar, water, ginger, orange zest, and allspice in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until rhubarb breaks down, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract as much flavor as possible, reserving cooked rhubarb for another use if desired. Rhubarb syrup will keep for 2 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

  2. For the Pitcher Drink: Stir rhubarb syrup and lime juice together in a large pitcher. Fill pitcher halfway with ice and add ginger beer. Stir gently to mix and serve, garnishing glasses with a lime wedge, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
136 Calories
0g Fat
35g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 136
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 34g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 19mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)