Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme CocktailsBefore we head down this cocktail path I’m just putting it out there that I have pretty much zero clue about making cocktails. Sooo I’m going to apologise in advance for a) just calling this a cocktail rather than a proper name (it’s vodka and fruit… I dunno man, does that have a real name?) and b) probably butchering it by shaking it too long, serving it in the wrong glasses et cetera, et cetera…

I say: let’s just enjoy all the coraly colours and fancy (although slightly failed) twists of grapefruit zest whilst trying not to laugh too much at my first attempt at making a drink.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme CocktailsMaking this post has been a learning process. I think I’m better at learning by trying things rather than reading about them so I hope I’ll be able to pull off the next cocktail I make with a bit more finesse.

I did manage to pick up on the fact that the zest should be peeled a LOT thicker than I had been doing so for the photo below. So uh, if you’re planning on ever doing the curly zest thing, make sure you peel it thickly (get a bit of pith on it ) then curl it around the handle of a wooden spoon and leave it to sit for a while before using as a garnish.

Also a tip I learned: Don’t drink in the afternoon when you have other things to do. It’ll turn figuring out how to fix a computer monitor into a much longer feat.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme CocktailsThe basis of the drink is grapefruit juice mixed with a rhubarb syrup that I jazzed up with a few strips of grapefruit peel and some sprigs of thyme. It is the most gorgeous cerise colour and I imagine doesn’t need to be used exclusively for ‘dranks’, but would be dreamy mixed with a bit of sparkling water for a fizzy, non-alcoholic drink. I could also see myself swirling it liberally into a plain froyo base which I’d inevitably devour in a very short space of time.

Anyway the syrup and juice are shaken up with vodka and ice to make a very pretty concoction. The rhubarb is a welcome background note here – at first I thought I couldn’t actually taste it but the more I sipped the more floral, complex flavours I could taste underneath the grapefruit twang.


Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

All in all I’d say it was pretty successful! I know I’m probs making you pretty sceptical because I only just turned 18 so I’m no drinks expert, but it honestly was good. I’ve had a great time writing this post after enjoying those cocktails..ummm I meaaan…that one cocktail….and if you’d seen this post pre-spell-check you’d probably know what I mean. (I’m kidding guys, don’t worry)

But I’ve gotta go now because I just realised I have to make myself supper and it’s almost 8 pm.

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

 (Yes I DIY-ed a mason jar cocktail shaker. Don’t hurt me)

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails

5 from 1 vote
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Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 drinks


  • 2 fl oz , (60 ml) Rhubarb-Grapefruit syrup (recipe follows)
  • 2 fl oz , (60 ml) vodka
  • 2 fl oz , (60 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ice

Rhubarb-Grapefruit Syrup:

  • 2 cups (220 g) rhubarb chopped into ~2-inch pieces
  • rind of half a grapefruit , , peeled into ~2-inch strips
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water


  • Place the syrup, vodka and grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain the mixture over ice into two glasses. Garnish with the grapefruit zest and thyme sprigs, if desired.

For the syrup:

  • To make the syrup combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over a high heat stirring just until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and leave to simmer until the rhubarb is falling apart. Push the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Discard the pulp left in the strainer and transfer the pink syrup to a clean jar fitted with a lid. Store in the fridge until needed.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

82 thoughts on “Rhubarb, Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails”

  1. holy moly – this looks delicious ! i love all of these flavors – particularly grapefruit!

  2. How pretty! I love your cocktail shaker. But don’t ask me anything about cocktails because I’m only in 8th grade. 🙂 All I know right now is that the color is really nice and your pictures are beautiful. Sure makes me thirsty…

  3. Graham @ Glazed & Confused

    Obsessed with all of the gifs! Love everything about this recipe!
    I’ve been meaning to go out and put some rhubarb to use.

  4. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine

    I’ve seen so much rhubarb lately and I’ve still yet to make anything with it! I need to!

  5. Mademoiselle Bagatelles

    That looks so beautiful and so delicious! Even though I’m not a big cocktail drinker, I absolutely need to try it now!

  6. Sabrina - A Spoonful of Photography

    I’d say this right here is a pretty successful cocktail premiere 😉 I love the colours of the rhubarb and the grapefruit and totally have to say WOW for this curled peel decoration thing! And I personally nearly always go the path of learning by doing 😉 faults and failure only makes on wiser, don’t they?! But back to the topic: this drink looks totally awesome and now I can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with in the future!

  7. How to Philosophize with Cake

    Those are soooo pretty, and I love the idea of using a DIY mason jar shaker. Will have to google that for, you know, future reference. 🙂

  8. Samina | The Cupcake Confession

    As usual your post is just BRILLIANT! Love this idea of using grapefruit and rhubarb for the cocktail and then adding a refresh

  9. Samina | The Cupcake Confession

    Damn I had so much to say that I accidentally pressed the submit button! My bad! But basically I’m just going gaga over this AWESOME flavor combination! AND THAT DIY COCKTAIL SHAKER! you’se a GENIUSs!!!!!

  10. Librarian Lavender

    This looks like such I fun cocktail! I can’t wait to try it on one of my evenings in with my friends!

  11. Our Food Stories

    that looks SO SO good!!
    we love rhubarb so much, sounds like the perfect drink! 🙂

  12. Alessandra @ The Foodie Teen

    Umm, that looks incredible! I’m 15, so I’ll be going the sparkly water route (yay!) and I’m going to go get some rhubarb from the garden to make it right now! Gorgeous pictures as always 🙂

  13. I love this – sounds so simple, delicious, refreshing, pretty, etc. And that mason jar shaker diy is darn cute!

  14. Sophie Harriet

    Perfect drinks for a party – I’m having a girls end-of-term soirée during the week and these look ideal…fun, funky and girly! Thanks Izy! Can’t wait to wow my friends!

  15. Maria @ Sift & Whisk

    As someone who has been past the legal drinking age for a few years, I would say this looks pretty professional! I can’t even STAND how gorgeous these photos are. I’ll have to wait until next spring to try out the recipe, since I’m “with child” right now! I absolutely love the DIY mason jar shaker, by the way!

  16. Hi Izy! I love your blog. It’s nice to see a young blogger doing so well!! I was wondering how you make your GIFs?

  17. Matt Robinson

    I love your honesty and that you’re not a cocktail snob when it comes to drinks. We are the same way here. How crazy perfect are these drinks for summer?! Can’t wait to find out. Thanks!

  18. I adore your home made cocktail shaker – thats such a good idea and it looks so cute! The drink looks lovely too, can’t beat a little bit of afternoon drinking when you should be doing other things!

  19. Julia @Vikalinka

    Oh this made me laugh!! I am sure the flavours were gorgeous! You just can’t go wrong with homemade rhubarb syrup and grapefruit is such an under-appreciated citrus, in my opinion. Your cocktail shaker is adorable, it makes me want to get rid of my “proper” one and go punch holes in a mason jar lid. Cheers!

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  21. Carroll Gardens

    Beautiful photos Izy! Cheers to a long hot summer with plenty more cocktails and exciting flavour combos! Good luck with your exams!

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  23. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    So pretty! For some reason I don’t love grapefruit in real life as a fruit but in any cocktail (whether its just grapefruit and vodka or in a paloma) grapefruit is SO GOOD. And now you’re adding rhubarb to it too so of course I am more than sold.

  24. Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen}

    Wow, stunning photos of a drink so tempting I might have to make it right away! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  26. Katie @ Produce on Parade

    Those colors!! Omg. Also, I love your mason-jar cocktail shaker and we don’t have one, so I think I’m going to copy you 😛 You’re so smart!

  27. Izy, you’ve outdone yourself! This is incredible – gorgeous photography and the drink sounds delicious! I will definitely try it some time this weekend. (Big rhubarb fan over here!)
    Good thoughts to you,
    Pauline xx

  28. Sini | my blue&white kitchen

    I’m in love with this cocktail! Can’t wait for warm summer days so I can sit on the porch and enjoy a glass or two.

  29. You are an absolute inspiration! I can’t believe I am two years older than you and haven’t achieved anything like this! Your photos, writing style and technical ability is astoundingly mature and done with so much finesse. Seriously keep up the good work – you’re going to go far!

  30. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)

    Gahhhh, obsessed with these photos (and that DIY cocktail shaker).

  31. That cocktail shaker is incredible.. I was staring at it and wondering whether I could purchase one myself, but there you went and made your own! So impressed Izy. And the drink? Swoon…! x

  32. This sounds delicious. I’ve just remade the rhubarb cordial that I made last summer, I might fancy it up with some grapefruit and make these this weekend!

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  34. Very, very pretty! Almost too gorgeous to drink. I love the addition of thyme with the sweet flavors, I think that really brings out the other flavors even more. Bookmarking this.

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  37. I love that you’ve diy-ed a cocktail maker from a jar. Looks fab. And I love these flavours. Especially the thyme. XX

  38. LOVE the photos, your humor and your ability to be REAL! It looks amazing and I’m very thirsty now and it’s not even mid-day! I will subscribe to your blog! Thank you, I love food and photography and you mix them together quite well. Cheers!

  39. Shikha @ Shikha la mode

    The gifs are the best! And the jars. And the rhubarb. It’s been so hard to find rhubarb here that isn’t costing me my firstborn child that I haven’t had a chance to use it at all in baking yet!

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  42. Mariana @The Candid Kitchen

    I really like the idea of using a jar with perforated lid as a shaker almost as much as I love this recipe!!!!

  43. Allison from Baking: A Love Story

    Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Love these and am putting together a post on Mocktails. Might just refer to yours sans vodka for my mommies to be. Love this. Thanks!

  44. These photos are absolutely gorgeous!!! The colors, light, contrast with props…you amaze me! And the GIF’s are just so simple + fab. Rock on, lady.


  46. Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

    Your photos are stunning, and the cocktails look like they’d taste even better. The flavours are so reminiscent of a summer sunset.

  47. Amanda - A Cookie Named Desire

    Yum! This drink is exactly what I need right now. It looks so delicious and refreshing. Pinning right away.

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  50. This is such a gorgeous colour and it looks so refreshing! Also LOVE your DIY-ed cocktail shaker, very clever 🙂

  51. “Savory Simple” shared this on FB, and I came running here for your recipe.
    This looks & seems so refreshing, and I love that I could also make it virgin 🙂

    P.S. How wonderful of you to be 18 and so talented?

  52. I am looking forward to trying this out. You have inspired me to give more cocktails a try.

  53. This looks simply delicious. I’m just wondering what theme you use for your blog– it’s stunning.

    1. I use one called the Thesis theme which is basically a blank canvas and I just added all the other stuff myself! Thanks

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  56. Lindsay Eckhart

    This is definitely perfect for summer as it’s a healthy and refreshing. Gonna try this for tonight. My husband loves cocktail very much, he’ll surely love this.

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