How To Make Rhubarb Syrup For Your Summer Drinks and Cocktails

Rhubarb is a classic Scandinavian fruit served during the summer season.  What I love about Rhubarb Syrup is that you can make it for your cocktails, ice tea and even make rhubarb ice cubes.  It a fabulous syrup to make the night before you have a pool party.   That way when your guest arrive for your pool party or Sunday brunch, all you have to do is combine the ingredients.  No worries making it the day of a party!

This recipe is just to make ice cubes and should make about 2 cups of rhubarb syrup. If you need more liquid, you can add more water.  If you like the syrup to be less sweet, use less sugar. 


For the Rhubarb Syrup

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup of chopped ruby red rhubarb (about 5 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 cup of sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla 
  • cinnamon stick (optional)

Kitchen Tools

  • large sauce pot with lid
  • mesh strainer (- a colander with big holes won’t work!) 
  • Spoon  
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • measuring cup


First Step: Make the Syrup

  1. Clean the ruby red rhubarb under cold running water, cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Keep slicing until you get 1 cups of sliced rhubarb.
  2. To make the rhubarb syrup, combine chopped rhubarb, water, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until rhubarb has broken into shreds. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the syrup.  If it gets too hot, turn the temp down a little more.
  4. Let rhubarb cool for a few minutes before straining. 
  5. Then, strain the syrup using a mesh colander.  A colander with big holes won’t work because alot of the rhubarb pieces might fall into the syrup.  A cheesecloth is another helpful way to strain the syrup too.  Otherwise, you might have to strain it a couple of times.  I don’t mind the yummy rhubarb that might go through into the syrup but to get a clear syrup that is what you might want to do. 
  6. Move the solids with a spoon around to extract more syrup. Just don’t press the rhubarb mush because it might get into the syrup.
  7. Allow to cool so more. Set the syrup aside in the refrigerator 

If you want to make ice cubes, pour the rhubarb syrup into an ice cube tray.  Wait until the rhubarb ice cubes are frozen.  When you are ready to serve to your guests, serve with a sprig of mint in a glass with clear soda.  Garnish with a slice of lemon on the rim of the clear glass.  It is really pretty to see the rhubarb ice cubes dissolve in the clear glass.

Other fun ideas

  •  Drizzle rhubarb syrup over plain or vanilla yogurt or vanilla ice cream. 
  • Rhubarb Syrup is great for ice tea.
  • Top Icelandic yogurt with the rhubarb mush.
  • The rhubarb mush or solids make a nice quick jam.  It’s great on toast!

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