Pretty in Pink: Rhubarb, Elderflower and Lemon Cooler Recipe

Rhubarb is one of the first vegetables to come into season in the spring.  At this time of year, in the spirit of eating and drinking locally, why not swap your imported strawberries for this earthy, sweet and sour treat?  And rhubarb isn’t just for pies and cobblers either.  There is no better way to wave goodbye to winter than with this rhubarb, elderflower and lemon cooler.

This recipe has a similar sweet and sourness to traditional lemonade with a rounded and earthy quality brought through by the rhubarb juice.  

So, pick up some of those gorgeous pink blushed stems and reach for your shaker!


  • 3 oz. (90 ml) rhubarb juice (see here)
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) elderflower cordial
  • ½ oz. (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 3 oz. (90 ml) soda water or sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Mint sprig and slice of lemon to garnish (optional)


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Citrus juicer
  • Muddler (or the end of a rolling pin)
  • Cocktail spoon
  • Jigger or measuring spoons
  • Double rocks glass


  1. Muddle the mint leaves and elderflower cordial in the cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the rhubarb juice and freshly squeezed lemon juice with some ice.
  3. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds until the outside of the cocktail shaker is extremely cold.
  4. Strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice and top with soda water.
  5. Use a spoon to stir gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.

Similar Mocktails

If you liked Pretty in Pink, check out:

Rhubarb, Elderflower and Lemon Cooler FAQ

What is elderflower cordial?
Elderflower cordial is a sweet, non-alcoholic syrup made from elderflowers – the flowers of the elderberry plant.  It has a floral and honey flavor, and is a popular ingredient in many traditional British drink and dessert recipes.  Elderflower cordial (also known as elderflower syrup) can be found in specialty grocery stores or online.   It can also be made at home by steeping elderflowers in a simple syrup of sugar and water: a ratio of one part water to one part sugar.

Can I use a different type of juice instead of rhubarb juice?
Yes, you can substitute rhubarb juice with cranberry, pomegranate, or grapefruit juice.  These fruits impart a similar color and tartness to rhubarb, but will change the overall flavor profile of the drink.

Can I use a different glass?
Yes, you can use a variety of glasses to serve the rhubarb, elderflower, and lemon cooler.  A double rocks glass is specified in the recipe, but a highball glass, Collins glass, or a mason jar could all work as substitutes.  These glasses are tall and narrow, but can hold a similar amount of liquid as a double rocks glass.

Is there a substitute for elderflower cordial?
If you don’t have elderflower cordial, you can substitute it with another sweet, floral syrup such as jasmine syrup, hibiscus syrup, or lavender syrup.  Alternatively, you can use another sweetener of your choice (including honey, agave syrup, or flavored simple syrup), but keep in mind that the mocktail will taste slightly different without the elderflower cordial’s unique flavor.

Can this drink be made in advance?
It is not recommended to muddle the mint leaves in advance of serving this drink.  The mint will start to brown and impart sour flavors into the drink.  If you want to get ahead, you can mix the rhubarb, lemon and elderflower mixture and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  When you are ready to serve, you can skip the shaker step, and simply muddle the mint leaves in the serving glasses before adding ice, rhubarb mixture, and topping with soda.

Can I make this recipe for a crowd?
Yes, you can easily make this recipe for a crowd by scaling up the ingredients and mixing them in a pitcher or punch bowl instead of a cocktail shaker.

Did you make this?  Tag me @mightymocktail or use the hashtag #mightymocktail!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top