Summer Drink: Rhubarb+Strawberry Margaritas with Basil Salt

Pairing rhubarb with strawberries is a summertime ritual. Sure, the two are delicious together in a tart or trifle, but bring them together in a cocktail with a little tequila, and their marriage is sublime. This recipe for a silky, pink-hued rhubarb syrup is easy to make and will brighten almost any summer drink. Add it to sparkling wine for a riff on a French 75, use it in a gin and tonic for a fruity iteration, or simply add a spoonful of the syrup to seltzer for a spirit-free refresher.


Yield: 1 cocktail

2 strawberries

2 oz tequila blanco

1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 

1⁄2 oz rhubarb syrup

1⁄4 oz orange liqueur

strawberry halves, for garnish basil salt, for garnish

1. In a mixing tin, muddle the strawberries to release their juice.

2. Add the tequila, lime juice, rhubarb syrup, and orange liqueur.

3. Fill the mixing tin with ice and shake well. Double-strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with basil salt and garnish with a halved strawberry.


Yield: 11⁄2 cups

4 cups rhubarb, coarsely chopped 

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1. In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb pieces, sugar, and water. Stir the mixture, and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring along the way.

2. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, and strain the mixture through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer.

3. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Yield: 1⁄4 cup herbal salt

4 to 5 fresh basil leaves 

1⁄4 cup sea salt

1. Finely chop the basil and combine with the sea salt, mixing well.

2. Store indefinitely in an airtight container. Use any leftovers for future cocktails or as a finishing salt.