Rhubarb Syrup Recipe

May 22, 2009(updated on June 11, 2019)

rhubarb syrup

I’m about half an hour from leaving for the long weekend, but before I take off, I wanted to post this recipe for rhubarb syrup. I’ve actually been seeing this gorgeous, crimson hued concoction all across the internet lately, but figured one more reminder of just how lovely a summer treat it is couldn’t hurt.

My initial inspiration came from seeing Carrie Floyd’s refreshing rhubarb soda over at Culinate and I essentially flowed her instructions, although I altered it slightly. I combined 2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb with 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water and simmered it for about ten minutes. When the rhubarb was sufficiently broken down, I lined a mesh strainer with a couple layers of cheesecloth (I happened to have some around, you could do without, but your syrup might not be as clear) and poured the rhubarb mass in.

straining syrup

I let it sit for about fifteen minutes, until I had about 2 cups of syrup (the picture above was taken while it was still dripping down, there was almost exactly 2 cups when I was done). I stored it in the cute little pint milk jug I bought (filled with cream) at New Seasons Market last winter when I was in Portland (hey, I paid my bottle deposit, so it was mine to keep should I want to). I’ve been enjoying it in sparkling water for the last couple of days.

What I haven’t done yet, that I’ve been wishing to do, is use this syrup as part of a gently boozy little spritzer. I’m thinking that it would be amazing with a bit of St. Germain or even just with some vodka. The flavor is definitely mild, so you want to pair it with something that won’t overshadow it too much. Needless to say, what remains of my last batch is coming with us this weekend (along with a bottle of Pimms’ for Scott and various and sundry other bar items).

Have a wonderful long weekend, everyone!

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32 thoughts on "Rhubarb Syrup Recipe"

  • I made something similar to this, but I think mine had less sugar to rhubarb. When I strained it I actually squeezed out every bit of liquid-using a clean cloth napkin. It was slightly tart yet sweet at the same time and mixed very well over ice with some tequila. Yum! I enjoyed it so much I actually just diluted it a little with water and drank it like rhubarb-ade.

  • I made this last year and it was great. I like the idea of adding it to some vodka. I’ll have to try that!

  • yes, that would be sweet tart and refreshing. Lovely idea and lovely color.

    Along the same vein, I make cranberry shrub for home-made soda and also to be used in cocktail, but I add vinegar to it. See here: http://www.laughingduckgardens.com/ldblog.php/2008/11/21/consider-the-cranberry-shrub/

    Rhubarb is in season and I am not a great fan of strawberry & Rhubarb pie – although I do like rhubarb ice-cream. Rhurbab syrup sounds very appealing to me.


  • My early summer syrup was rhubarb as well – I include some lemon zest & vanilla in the pot. For cocktails, I paired it with vanilla vodka & seltzer – delicious! Will definitely be an annual syrup.

  • Great use for some late season rhubarb also. Made the syrup this weekend. My daughter loved the syrup with some club soda and a squeeze of lime. I added some vodka to mine for a light, refreshing drink – perfect for a hot day.
    By the way, don’t get rid of the cooked solids too quick! Serve warm with a little extra syrup on top of vanilla ice cream or pound cake or… Yumm!

  • I have yet to try your syrup recipe, but it sounds like what i have been looking for. I recently had a rhubarb-vanilla cocktail that was out of this world at Marche’ Restaurant in Eugene, Oregon. I’m anxious to try it at home.
    This particular cocktail combined rhubarb-vanilla syrup with Trocadero Brut. DELICIOUS!!!!

  • I want to try this over ice cream. Or maybe as an ice cream float. Or just the syrup over crushed ice.

  • Oh, absolutely fabulous! I love it and bet it tastes great. I just picked up rhubarb this weekend and made some strawberry rhubarb jam. Mmmmmm.

  • This past week we had the “Richter Farms Rhubarb-Swirl Ice Cream & Jam, Creme Fraiche Parfait, and Pickled Rhubarb. I don’t normally think of myself as a rhubarb kind of guy, and I wouldn’t have ordered it except that it came with the tasting menu. But I’m now a convert to all ways that one might use and abuse rhubarb.

  • I actually made this same syrup last week and it is great as the simple syrup for a Pimm’s Cup! One part rhubarb syrup, one part lemon juice, 3 parts Pimm’s #1, muddle that with some orange, cucumber and a bit of mint and finish with ginger ale. Super tasty.

  • Just made this. It’s so pretty!! Thanks so much for the recipe–I plan on making some non-alcoholic spritzers with it for a cookout today. Love your website.

  • It’s rhubarb season again and I came across this recipe — can rhubarb syrup be canned or otherwise preserved? Only in the refrigerator? Could it be frozen?


    ps: Super excited about the book!

    1. Sarah, you can water bath process the syrup. Ten minutes for pints or smaller. The recipe with instructions is actually in the book.

  • So good! We made some last night and then made more to can tonight. The leftover stewed rhubarb was fantastic too, and I’m planning to can that as well. As for boozy drinks, my boyfriend came up with a lovely cocktail – bourbon, sweet vermouth, and a healthy amount of syrup.

  • I made something like this today (canned in 1 cup mason jars, granted, since I’m lacking, say, empty glass pop bottles with screw-on metal lids).
    I’m planning on throwing some into a little white wine this evening. 🙂

    Should be good. 🙂

    One qustion: What’s the ratio of syrup to soda-water? I was guessing 1 tbsp : 1 cup, but I could be way off on that.


  • I made this syrup a couple of months ago and preserved 2 x 1/2 pint jars. I just took a look at them today and the sugar has settled to the bottom, turned somewhat brown, and stayed somewhat solid/pulpy looking (i know there’s no pulp in there, but that’s what it looks like!). What do you think. Safe to consume? Dangerous?

  • Like Claire, I’ve noticed some sugar settling at the bottom of my half-pints from May – is this normal? A good shake and it disappears, but wanted to check before I gift them to family next month!

    1. The sugar shouldn’t be separating from the syrup, but it very well may be a small amount of rhubarb solids settling out. It is safe.

  • Great recipe! It makes a very refreshing drink with sparkling water. A splash of vodka makes it extra special. I serve the leftover rhubarb pulp as a side with roast pork. The tartness goes well with the richness of pork. The pulp is also great as a spread with toast or biscuits. Thanks again for such a great idea!

  • Hi! Pardon my ignorance – I’m sure this is a dumb question but I’ve never worked with rhubarb or made a syrup – is this supposed to be cooked? The directions say to combine the sugar, rhubarb, and water for about 10 minutes. Does that mean simmer it for 10 minutes? Or am I just supposed to soak the fruit? Would love to make this syrup but I’m confused.

    1. Yes, you’re supposed to simmer it. When I wrote that recipe, the reference recipe was still online and I assumed people would click over and check it out. Sadly, Culinate’s content is long since gone and so there’s nothing there to reference anymore.

  • This syrup is excellent in a mojito. Just substitute the simple syrup in the mojito recipe. Delish!