Nothing says spring is turning into summer better than rhubarb. That amazing tart stalk which makes your mouth water the instant it’s inches from your face. We love the tartness, and much of the smaller stalks are eaten up prior to entering the house, thanks to the kiddos. Whether you’re making rhubarb simple syrup, pie filling, rhubarb-strawberry butter or good old fashion jam, it’s the one thing we look forward to preserving every year.
For years I made pie filling and rhubarb-strawberry butter, yet I’ve never once tried my hand at making rhubarb simple syrup. Shocking, I know. But this is the year to try new things, and Lord, this was the best new thing to date in which I’ve put up.
The process is extremely simple, and you’ll be happy to know that every bit of the rhubarb is used (stalk and leaves), creating a zero waste product. Don’t worry friends, we didn’t eat the leaves! We learned how to use the rhubarb leaves as a natural pesticide.
There’s not much that goes into making rhubarb simple syrup. Just a little time, stirring and patience. You’ll see what I mean when I say patience soon enough.
What you will need
Outside of the fresh rhubarb (some may not be growing it), you more than likely have all the other items. I’m going to say this here. You do not need to add red food coloring to this simple syrup to bring out the ‘color’ of rhubarb. Please, just don’t do it. If it’s not as red as you’d like throw in a few fresh cranberries or simply let it be.
- Fresh rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces
- Sugar (organic raw cane is what we use)
- Heavy bottom pot
- Swing top bottle, like this one
Cook it down
Cook the fresh rhubarb on low and stir it often to prevent burning, this takes some skill. Maybe not for many of you, but I have a tendency to get easily sidetracked at times. In other words, don’t wander to far from the kitchen while it’s cooking down, and make sure stir it often reaching the bottom of the pot.
- Add the water, sugar and rhubarb to a heavy bottom pot and bring to a hard boil
- Reduce heat to low and continue to stir
Strain the goodness
This is where the patience part comes into play. Straining the cooked rhubarb through a small strainer, which sits in a small(er) funnel takes time. This process can take a LOT of time. The goal is to not allow any rhubarb sediment into the strained simple syrup.
It’s best to allow the syrup to naturally drip through the strainer, but at times a little help is needed. A spoon can be used to gentle ‘squeeze’ the remaining syrup from the cooked down stalks.
Patience, friends. This takes lots of patience.
Once you’re done straining the cooked rhubarb, do not discard the cooked down rhubarb. Set it aside to be transformed into jam; jam on ice cream, jam on warm homemade bread, jam added to cake batter, jam eaten directly out of the jar.
I’m thinking you get the point.
How to use rhubarb simple syrup
Outside of sipping it from the bottle there are plethora of uses for this delicious simple syrup. In combination of what I listed above, here’s a few additional ideas:
- Added to flavor cakes and pastries
- As flavoring for a kombucha brew and kefir water
- For ‘mommy’ juice
- Heck, use it as a syrup on waffles or pancakes
- Be creative and use it any which way you’d like
You’ll want to store the simple syrup in the refrigerator, and it’ll keep up to a few months. Well, if it lasts that long. Seriously though, you’re going to love it.