Rhubarb & Bubbles

Rhubarb & Bubbles.

Summer is on its way, and rhubarb should be popping up by the end of the month. When you’re making your first rhubarb pie of the season, save a few stalks for this spring-inspired spritz-style cocktail.

Cappelletti, a bitter Italian wine-based aperitivo – think an easier-drinking Campari – is the backbone of the cocktail, paired with an herbal gin. A bright and floral syrup made from fresh rhubarb and cardamom pods, topped with a dry brut sparkling wine and a splash of soda round out this light and bubbly apéritif.

You may be able to find Cappelletti at specialty liquor stores; it’s also available for purchase online. Use this earthy rhubarb-cardamom syrup to add unexpected flavor to sparkling water, tea or coffee.

Rhubarb & Bubbles

Serves | 1 |

Rhubarb-Cardamom Syrup (Yields 2½ cups)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed


  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Cappelletti
  • ½ oz rhubarb-cardamom syrup (recipe below)
  • 3 oz brut sparkling wine
  • oz soda water
  • lemon wheels (for garnish)
  • 1 fresh sprig mint (for garnish)

| Preparation – Rhubarb-Cardamom Syrup | In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain and discard solids. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

| Preparation – Spritz | In a Collins or wine glass, combine first 3 ingredients and add ice. Top with sparkling wine and soda water; stir to combine. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint sprig; serve.

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Rogan Howitt is beverage director of Good Spirits Co. in Springfield, Missouri.

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