We’ve tried rhubarb syrup and rhubarb vodka. Now we’d like to introduce you to rhubarb juice! This pretty pink brew is sugar-free and alcohol-free, making it a super versatile ingredient in the kitchen. If you find yourself with a spare bunch of late-season rhubarb, we highly recommend making it.
Making this rhubarb juice couldn’t be simpler. Chop up a few pounds of rhubarb. Add a split vanilla bean. Cover with water. Boil until the rhubarb is soft. Strain out the bright pink juice and you’re ready to go - plus some delicious rhubarb pulp to add to your yogurt!
We made a batch right after reading about it in the New York Times Magazine, and at first we didn’t get it. Sipped straight, this juice is so tart it made us wince and so bitter that we totally lost the rhubarb-ness that we love. We couldn’t imagine what we were going to do with a whole quart of the stuff.
Then we added a few tablespoons to a glass of water and had our “Aha!” moment. Diluted in plain water, suddenly the bitterness was gone. It was definitely still tart, but more of the essential rhubarb flavor came through. It was thirst quenching and delicious.
Later, we tried it in lemonade and then in a riff on a margarita with tequila and cointreau - both experiments were a great success. We also froze about half of the batch into pink ice cubes and have been doling those out in cocktails and pitchers of juice.
We also really like that this juice is sugar-free. This makes it a lot more versatile and lets us adjust the sweetness level depending on what we’re making or who we’re making it for.
Check It Out! Case Study: Rhubarb Syrup by Toby Cecchini in the New York Times Magazine
(Images: Emma Christensen)