Secret Recipe: Calavera's Rhubarb Rose Margarita

Secret Recipe: Calavera's Rhubarb Rose Margarita


At least once a month I belly up to the bar at Calavera in Uptown Oakland to sip their magical, salt air-rimmed margaritas and snack on guacamole con chapulines. It's my favorite tradition.

But if you just can't make it to the corner of Broadway and 24th, the genius bartenders behind Calavera's expansive tequila and mezcal program whipped up this romantic cocktail recipe to make at home. While the rhubarb syrup requires some kitchen-time, you'll soon be making this savory-sweet cocktail on the regular.

Rhubarb Syrup


2.5 pounds of trimmed and washed rhubarb

2~3 medium Serrano chiles

3 quarts organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)

0.5 quarts lemon juice

2.5 quarts water

2 red roses

1 tablespoon rosewater

1. Cut the rhubarb in half down the center of each stalk, and cut into 4 inch long pieces.
2. Lay out in a single layer on a sheet pan, and sprinkle 1/2 quart of sugar over the rhubarb.
3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes.
4. Remove the rhubarb from the oven and carefully transfer to an 8 quart pot, then add 2.5 quarts of sugar and 2.5 quarts of filtered water.
5. Bring up to a nice boil, and when the sugar is dissolved lower the heat.
6. Add 2 to 3 chopped serranos, and reduce the syrup to a simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Once simmered, remove from heat, and strain the mixture to remove chiles and seeds.
8. Add one teaspoon rose water, a half quart of lemon juice, and the petals from one small red rose, and blend thoroughly with a hand mixer.
9. Next, run syrup through a wire strainer to extract the syrup, leaving the fiber behind.
10. Voila, your syrup is ready!

Rhubarb Rose Margarita
1. Shake 2.5 ounces of your freshly made rhubarb syrup with 2 ounces of your favorite blanco tequila (we like to use Siete Leguas Blanco).
2. Serve over rocks in a double old fashioned glass with half a salted rim, and garnish with a lime wheel and a rose petal.
3. Enjoy!
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