In this Taste Test, we look at an all but forgotten French style aperitif, revived here in Australia. Ruby in colour and summer in nature, Rhubi Mistelle is the perfect tipple as the weather heats up.
Bright, balanced and utterly delicious, Rhubi Mistelle is a rejuvenation of an ancient aperitif using the most on-trend ingredients: fresh rhubarb, grapefruit and juniper.
So Rhubi’s incredible red colour comes from natural ingredients, crafted and blended by hand in Australia, but its origins herald from Europe in the form of mistelle.
What is a mistelle?
In the simplest sense, a mistelle is a blend of spirits and fruit juice to create a fresh, vibrant drink whose history dates back at least to the 1500s.
Fruit juice is often slightly fermented to add key flavours, but it’s a practice that’s not very common anymore - even in France. Most often, mistelles that you find now are apple juice or grape juice based, then calvados, cognac, armagnac or grape spirit.
But Rhubi is something quite different.
Not only is this an Australian spirit, not French, it also uses rhubarb and a kind of simplified-gin.
About the bottle
This striking hexagonal bottle really shows off the bright red and pink colours of Rhubi and the bold embossed white lettering really stands out.
There’s an art deco feel to the bottle too, with the texture of the bottle that’s very satisfying to hold. It’s as unique as the liquid it holds.
The fermented Aussie rhubarb we’ve already talked about is blended carefully with a spirit of juniper, gentian, grapefruit and mandarin skins.
There are no artificial or added colours or flavours to Rhubi. This nouveau style of mistelle is all hand-crafted in Victoria.
Rich, generous and packed with flavour, Rhubi has a sweetness that’s cleverly balanced with the tartness from fresh rhubarb and grapefruit. Mandarin skins add a lovely aroma while the juniper and gentian give a subtle savoury note.
If you found Campari or Aperol too bitter or full on but you love the idea of a spritz, Rhubi will change your life.
This completely unique aperitif drinks so well just on ice with a slice of blood orange, or with a splash of soda water. It’s so refreshing and tasty.
Alternatively, you can turn this drink into a true spritz with 1 part soda, 2 parts Rhubi, 3 parts sparkling wine or Prosecco.