Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash

This Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash is a vibrant and refreshing cocktail you’ll crave all summer long. 

It combines tart fresh rhubarb with juicy-sweet strawberries and the warm, rich flavor of bourbon. 

The result? A delightful drink that’s perfect for summer parties, offering a unique twist on a classic bourbon cocktail. 

2 Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash cocktails on a table with fresg strawberries and rhubarb

Why You’ll Love This Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash

This cocktail is a delightful blend of flavors, and it’s a terrific way to use up that summer bounty of fresh fruit. 

If you’re lucky enough to grow your own, I can’t recommend this drink enough.

And if not, head to the store ASAP because it’s not to be missed. 

I love the smooth, sweet taste of bourbon, and it pairs surprisingly well with summer fruits. Plus, lemon juice brightens the drink, making it a refreshing choice for warm weather. 

So, whether you’re a bourbon enthusiast or just looking for a new cocktail to try, this Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash is sure to impress.


Here’s what you’ll need to create this refreshing cocktail:

  • Bourbon: A good quality bourbon to provide a rich, warm base.
  • Fresh Rhubarb: Chopped for muddling.
  • Fresh Strawberries: Hulled and chopped for sweetness.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed for brightness.
  • Sugar: For added sweetness.
  • Ice: To chill the drink.
  • Garnish: Fresh rhubarb stalk, strawberry slice, and lemon twist (optional).
Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash being poured into a glass with ice

How to Make Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash

As far as cocktails go, this one is pretty simple. You just macerate the fruit, muddle it up, then mix and shake. 

Do you have to macerate the fruit? Yes, in my opinion. Rhubarb is tricky and kind of tough, making muddling it a chore. 

But if you sit it in sugar with the strawberries, it’ll soon soften. 

The other option is to make and use rhubarb syrup, like in this Rhubarb Mojito recipe. And if you like rhubarb and plan to make more cocktails, it’s a great option.

Here are the steps for this cocktail:

  1. Clean and cut the fruit, then place it in a bowl and sprinkle over the sugar. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes until it’s syrupy. 
  2. Add the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker and muddle to break it all down.
  3. Add the bourbon to the shaker and then fill it with ice.
  4. Shake well until the mixture is thoroughly chilled.
  5. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a fresh rhubarb stalk, a strawberry slice, and a lemon twist if desired.

Tips for the Perfect Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash

Creating the perfect Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash involves more than just following a recipe. 

To elevate your cocktail-making skills and impress your guests, consider these essential tips.

  • Muddle Thoroughly: Ensure the rhubarb and strawberries are well-muddled to release their juices and flavors.
  • Adjust Sweetness: Taste the cocktail before serving and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar if needed.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice will provide the best flavor.
  • Use Quality Bourbon: Choose a good quality bourbon that you enjoy drinking straight. The flavor of the bourbon is a key component of the cocktail, so a higher quality spirit will result in a better drink.
  • Chill Your Shaker and Glass: Pre-chill the cocktail shaker and glass in the freezer. This helps keep your drink cold for longer and ensures a refreshing experience.
  • Double Strain: Double strain the mixture when pouring into the glass to remove any large fruit pieces or seeds. This results in a smoother cocktail.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding a splash of soda water for a fizzy version or a hint of mint for added freshness. Adjusting the recipe to your taste can make the drink even more enjoyable.
Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash

Recipe Variations

By tweaking the ingredients and adding unique elements, you can create a range of delightful drinks that cater to different tastes and occasions. 

Here are some of my faves!

  • Rhubarb Mint Bourbon Smash: Add a few fresh mint leaves while muddling for a refreshing twist.
  • Strawberry Basil Bourbon Smash: Replace the rhubarb with basil for an aromatic variation.
  • Ginger Rhubarb Bourbon Smash: Add a slice of fresh ginger while muddling for a spicy kick.
  • Honey Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash: Substitute sugar with honey for a richer, more complex sweetness.
  • Vanilla Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash: Add a few drops of vanilla extract or a splash of vanilla syrup for a smooth, aromatic flavor.
  • Sparkling Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash: Top off the cocktail with a splash of sparkling water or club soda for a fizzy version.
  • Lime Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash: Replace the lemon juice with lime juice for a tangier, more vibrant citrus flavor.
  • Cucumber Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash: Add a few slices of cucumber to the muddle for a refreshing, light twist.
  • Blackberry Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash: Add a handful of fresh blackberries to the rhubarb and strawberries for a deeper berry flavor.


Can I use frozen rhubarb and strawberries?

Yes, you can use frozen rhubarb and strawberries. Thaw them before muddling for the best results.

What type of bourbon should I use?

A good quality bourbon with a smooth flavor profile works best. Choose one you enjoy drinking neat or on the rocks.

Can I make this cocktail ahead of time?

It’s best to make this cocktail fresh, but you can prepare the muddled rhubarb and strawberry mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

How do I store leftover cocktails?

Store any leftover cocktail in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Shake or stir well before serving.

Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash

Prep time:
35 min
188 kcal
Discover the perfect Rhubarb Strawberry Bourbon Smash with tips and 10 delicious recipe variations for a refreshing and unique cocktail experience.


  • 1/2 cup fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Garnish: fresh rhubarb stalk, strawberry slice, lemon twist (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine the chopped rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar.
  2. Let the fruit and sugar mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to macerate. This process will soften the fruit and release its juices.
  3. Transfer the macerated fruit mixture to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the mixture until the fruit is well broken down.
  4. Add the bourbon and lemon juice to the shaker, then top it up with ice.
  5. Shake well until the mixture is thoroughly chilled.
  6. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice. Optionally, double strain to remove any solids for a smoother drink.
  7. Garnish with a fresh rhubarb stalk, a strawberry slice, and a lemon twist if desired.

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