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Grab a bottle of C. Cassis, based in Rhinebeck, then use it to whip up this delightful Barb Collins cocktail recipe at home.
Did you know growing blackcurrants in New York was banned until 2003? (The shrub was connected to a fungal disease that damages white pine trees.) Rachael Petach was farming in France in 2008, when she fell in love with blackcurrants, the main ingredient cassis liqueur. In 2020, she founded her own Rhinebeck-based brand, C. Cassis, made with blackcurrants from Walnut Grove Farm in Staatsburg. Combined with honey, cardamom, lemon verbena, citrus rinds, and a base of rosé, Petach’s cassis is a must-try this spring—and so is her favorite seasonal cocktail.
Barb Collins Cocktail
Recipe courtesy of C. Cassis
1 oz. gin (Petach recommends Branchwater Farms in Milan)
1 oz. C. Cassis
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. rhubarb tarragon simple syrup (see recipe below)
2 oz. club soda
Rhubarb strip, for garnish
Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add gin, cassis, lemon juice, and syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain and pour over ice. Top with club soda, garnish with rhubarb strip.
Rhubarb tarragon simple syrup: Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a pot. Bring to a boil, and then add 3–4 sprigs of fresh tarragon and 1 chopped rhubarb stalk. Infuse on low heat for 3–4 minutes. Strain syrup into a sealable jar. (Lasts up to four weeks in the fridge.)