It's rhubarb season and no doubt everyone is making pie! But there are many other things you can do with rhubarb: relishes and chutneys and compotes, sauces both sweet and savory, ice cream and sorbets. The list is endless, but one of my favorite things to make when rhubarb is plentiful is this lovely, pink-hued rhubarb syrup.
Ways to Use Rhubarb Syrup:
Mix with club soda to make a refreshing drink: about one part syrup to 3 parts club soda. Serve over ice, garnished with a lime wedge.
Rhubarb bellinis! A simple recipe of about one part syrup to 4 parts sparkling wine, Champagne, or prosecco.
Drizzle over plain or vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
Poke holes in a plain vanilla or lemon cake with a skewer and pour the syrup over until it soaks in.
Makes about 8 ounces
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.
Set a fine-mesh 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. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.
Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle. Cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate. It should keep for quite some time in the fridge.
The leftover rhubarb solids also make a nice rough jam, so if you want you can put them in a clean jar and keep them in your refrigerator for a week or so. It's great on toast!
Rhubarb Syrup Variations
Add a few coins of ginger or a few large pieces of orange peel to the rhubarb at the start of the cooking time.
Toward the end of the simmering time, add a small handful of rough chopped basil, or several sprigs of thyme.
Stir a few teaspoons of rose water or orange flower water into the finished syrup.