Raspberry-Rhubarb Colins Party Punch

Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch

I almost passed them over during the purge of my chest freezer last week: a bag of greyish-coloured chopped rhubarb and a solid lump of last year’s raspberries.

The fruits were encrusted with a layer of ice and most likely freezer burnt. I nearly tossed them in the bin, along with the other unwanted items from the recesses of my deep freezer, but I hesitated. Sure they were not as appealing as the fresh new rhubarb stalks that are pushing up in my garden, but what if I cooked them down for their juice? It was worth a shot.

Together with sugar, water and a splash of lemon juice, I simmered the rhubarb and the raspberries in a pot while I finished emptying my freezer. It wasn’t long before the concoction began to emit the intoxicating smell of raspberry-rhubarb pie, or something very similar. My taste-buds watered and I dipped a spoon in for a sample: tangy and sweet, it tasted of spring even after a year in hibernation.

I strained the bright red syrup through a coffee filter to keep it clear and stashed it away to cool. Obviously it would make a terrific base for a celebratory Mother’s Day sip, something along the lines of a Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Colins Party Punch

Whether you are brunching, lunching or picnicking on Mother’s Day, the occasion needs a special drink, particularly one with free refills. The elements for this Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins can be prepared in advance and kept chilled.

If you are the mum being celebrated, I recommend simply writing or printing up the mixing directions and handing them off to the nearest set of capable hands on Sunday. Then sit back and enjoy the afternoon – and your party punch.

Now that drinks are taken care of, why not try my Honey Whole-Wheat Strawberry Shortcakes to keep in the berry theme and make the day truly memorable? They are still one of my favourite desserts for Mother’s Day – or any day come spring.

Raspberry-Rhubarb Colins Party Punch

The fruit syrup replaces the sugar in a traditional Tom Collins drink; gin and soda water round out the punch. I’ve chosen to use lime juice instead of the usual lemon wedge, which pairs well with the hint of raspberry. Cheers!

Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch
5.0 from 3 reviews
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Recipe type: Drinks
Author:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 8-10
A pretty-in-pink party punch that is both tangy and sweet and screams of spring. Perfect for Mother's Day celebrations.
Ingredients
for the simple syrup
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
for the punch
  • 2 cups gin
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 litre soda water
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 lime, sliced for garnish
  • 2 stalks rhubarb, sliced for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place rhubarb and raspberries in a large pot. Pour in sugar and lemon juice. Top with 2 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not stir. Turn off heat and allow to infuse for an additional 20 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve lined with a clean tea towel, coffee filter or cheesecloth. Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 5 days.
  4. To mix the punch, combine 2 cups raspberry-rhubarb syrup, gin, and fresh lime juice in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Pour in the soda water and tip in the ice. Add sliced lime and rhubarb and stir to combine.
  5. Taste the punch and adjust to suit your liking. Tip in more rhubarb syrup if you like a sweeter punch. Serve well chilled.
Notes
Feel free to substitute strawberries for the raspberries or make the syrup with just rhubarb. It's your decision!

Final thought: cleaning out one’s freezer leads to delicious results!
Cleaning and organizing your freezer should be a semi-annual occurrence at minimum, and de-icing your freezer will make it run more efficiently. Your freezer coils are embedded within the walls of the unit, and a thin (or thick) layer of ice between them and your food actually acts as an insulator and prevents your freezer from effectively cooling your newly inserted food.

I’ve taken care of the stray black bananas, used the random bags of bones and served up every homemade frozen dinner I had previously stashed. I’m ready to put away spring produce, like these 4 simple methods for freezing strawberries and other favourites. Let the berry season begin!

Are you host or guest on Mother’s Day?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. That’s too funny, I too am always hesitant to throw out frozen fruit. There is always a recipes to be made with them. I never thought of making a drink.. thanks for the idea. Always enjoy your blog!

  2. Aimée,
    I keep shuffling around a bag of roasted beets and a bag of blanched green beans–thought they were peppers until last week–and really ought to do a deep freeze purge.
    But with a few weeks left to go before the CSA farm share season starts–and nothing but hopeful young plants in the garden, I hate to toss food!
    I love what you’ve done here–Happy Mother’s Day!
    Kirsten’s last post: Garlic Scape Pesto Cheesy Flatbread Pizza (Pizza Night!)

    • I know the feeling, Kirsten. What about pizza tonight? That’s always a good way to hide a less attractive ingredient. ;)

  3. So pretty!
    Maria’s last post: Key Lime Pie with Coconut Macaroon Crust

  4. This is one of the loveliest recipes for punch I’ve ever seen. Love the rhubarb and raspberry combo. I’m a bit new to gin, and have been experimenting lately. Can’t wait to try this!
    Brenda @ a farmgirl’s dabbles’s last post: Raspberry Rhubarb Skillet Coffee Cake

  5. Brilliant. Sounds so delicious!

    I just wrote about using something very different from the recesses of my freezer – turkey parts! :)
    Sharon Holbrook’s last post: In the Kitchen: Ack! My First Attempt At Stock

  6. This is SO pretty!! I would love that bowl of punch for Mother’s Day!

  7. SUCH a beautiful color for this drink!!! Love it!
    Julie @ Table for Two’s last post: Tieks Ballet Flats Review and Giveaway

  8. This is so pretty – perfect for Mother’s Day. And, it sounds so refreshing!
    Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity’s last post: Eggs Benedict & Asparagus Breakfast Skillet

  9. What a lovely punch recipe! I must try it once our local rhubarb appears!
    Julia’s last post: Cilantro Olive Tapenade

  10. A friend of mine grows rhubarb in her garden – she made scones with it last year, but this definitely looks like more fun. Thanks for the idea.

  11. So pretty! I love that color!
    Tieghan’s last post: Lemon Ricotta Cheese Stuffed French Toast Crepes with Vanilla Stewed Strawberries.

  12. Funny you should mention – I have some rhubarb occupying precious freezer space right now. And I *do* need to give it a seasonal cleanout…. which will go easier with a glass of punch in hand.
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Eating My Words: Franks and Beans To Take On the Road

  13. Such a great way to use rhubarb! And I’m loving these photos!
    Becky @ Project Domestication’s last post: Zahatar Turkey & Chickpea Soup with Spinach

  14. Congratulations on your selection as Foodista’s Drink Blog of the Day!

    I would to personally invite you to share your gorgeous food photos with us over at Food Foto Gallery . com – In April alone, we had 26,382 visitors to the site & there’s no complicated approval process like the big guys. Any photos related to food (that are not watermarked) are accepted & get posted automatically. Being a food blogger, myself, we also share our daily faves on social media, giving exposure to fellow foodies whenever we can.

    Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you at the site :)

  15. I love that you turned something that first seemed less than appealing into something so pretty and tasty! I’ve never thought of using fruit like that for punch…I look forward to giving it a try soon. And I really look forward to rhubarb season and lots and lots of pies!
    Lisa’s last post: Preserving Peace While on Vacation

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