Rhubarb Syrup

Rhubarb Syrup

I know it seems like the only spring vegetable I’m excited about is ramps and that’s just not true (it’s kinda true). At the farmer’s market this weekend the ramps were pretty much over (gah, I’m now expecting condolence cards), but the beautiful, bright pink stalks of rhubarb were a fantastic consolation prize.

While we usually go straight for a rhubarb crumble (Matt actually made one and we meant to blog it but ate it too fast), this time I really wanted to go the cocktail route and for that I knew I would need a rhubarb syrup.

Rhubarb Syrup

This really couldn’t be simpler. All you need is some rhubarb, sugar, water and if you’re feeling fancy, a bit of lemon peel or ginger.

Nerd Tips:
  • You could make rhubarb margaritas, mojitos, bellinis, gin fizzes. I’m drunk just thinking about the possibilities. What? It’s spring!
  • Have some older, tough rhubarb? This is a great way to use it up.
  • Frozen rhubarb would work too.
  • To make a Rhubarb-Ginger version (yum), add a couple of of thick slices (about 2 inches long) of ginger and cook it along with the rhubarb.
  • Don’t throw out the leftover rhubarb solids! Use them like apple sauce and keep them in your refrigerator for about a week. Great mixed with berries. Serve it with homemade Greek Yogurt because you’re awesome.
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous so don’t eat them!
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Rhubarb Syrup

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 1 cup


  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb about 4-5 medium stems
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • Chop the rhubarb into roughly 1/2 in pieces and combine the rhubarb, sugar, zest and water in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook very gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft.
  • Set a fine-meshed strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth)over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Stir the solids around a little but don’t press down (so the syrup doesn’t get cloudy).
  • Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle, cover and refrigerate. It should keep for a few weeks.
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3 thoughts on “Rhubarb Syrup”

  1. Hi Emily, I have made rhubarb juice often but never achieved the vermillion color that you have. Rhubarb, at least in Australia, is a purple-red.

    • Here, it can vary greatly. Sometimes it’s mostly green but usually it’s almost pink. If you wanted to brighten the color, you could probably add just a little pomegranate juice. I can’t wait until rhubarb is back in season here!

      • Thanks Emily. It’s just going out of season here so it should be coming in season where you are…assuming you live in the northern Hemisphere.

        I actually make a spritzer base with it by adding alcohol. Up until I tried your recipe, all I did was let the rhubarb macerate with sugar for a few weeks which produces a beautifully clear syrup and sometimes after decanting the juice added alcohol and left it the sweeten and infuse. In both cases, the leftover rhubarb junks are deliciously sweet and crunchy and would be great to have with ice cream. Unfortunately, I’ve never had more than one or two pieces as I’m cutting down on sugar.




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