The Story Behind The Colonial

Dushan Zaric, co-founder of legendary cocktail bar Employees Only, created this drink for airy NYC cafe Shoo Shoo. It’s a great showcase for seasonal rhubarb — not to mention that open bottle of sparkling wine you might have in the fridge.


  • 1 ½ ounces Aperol
  • ½ ounce gin, such as Fords
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce rhubarb syrup (recipe follows)
  • Pinch pink salt
  • Sparkling rosé, to top


  1. Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass.
  2. Add one large ice cube and stir rapidly to combine.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and top with sparkling rosé.

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Updated: 2019-06-27

Rhubarb Syrup Ingredients

  • 3 stalks rhubarb, rinsed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Rhubarb Syrup Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain out solids.
  4. Store covered in refrigerator for up to three weeks.
The Colonial Cocktail Recipe