Flavored simple syrups, like this rhubarb syrup are easy and fun to make! I love making some for cocktails, pancakes, ice cream, and any other dessert/sweet needs I might have. So search out some fresh rhubarb, because we’re making syrup!
Rhubarb is one of my favorite spring vegetables! (Or fruits I guess. 🤨 Since the government officially considers rhubarb a fruit in US. Don’t ask me.) Anyway, the sweet-tart stalks call to me every spring and I buy PILES of it.
Some into cakes and pies and other desserts, some into savory sauces, some into the freezer for the future, and now some into syrup. Because, why not! Not only is this a simple syrup, but it’s a simple recipe which can be frozen or canned if you make more than you need.
My inspiration for this recipe comes from a very tasty rhubarb rum rickey I had last year when we were out to dinner and haven’t been able to get out of my head. To make the cocktail I needed a rhubarb syrup. Luckily, I already had a great recipe for a strawberry syrup which I knew I could rework into a rhubarb version.
So, of course I made it and now I can have it whenever I want! And, yes, I’m posting it very soon. However, I wanted to get the syrup up first since you can’t make the cocktail without it, but the syrup can be used for way more than just the cocktail.
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
What is simple syrup?
It is a mixture of granulated sugar and water which is brought to a boil and then let simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved. Most people use an equal amount of cups of water and sugar, which makes the recipe very easy to remember. However, you can add more or less sugar to the water depending on how sweet you want the final result and what else you want to add to the syrup.
How do you make rhubarb simple syrup?
To make rhubarb syrup, combine water and chopped rhubarb and let the mixture simmer until the rhubarb is falling apart. Then gently strain out the fruit and bring the water back to a boil with the sugar.
Can I infuse the rhubarb syrup with other flavors?
Yes, you can!
Flavors such as vanilla, mint, ginger, citrus peel, or cinnamon are great pairings for rhubarb. To add the flavor, take your item (such as a few mint leaves or a vanilla bean) and add to the hot syrup once you have taken it off the heat to let it steep. Depending on what you are using, this can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes.
Can you use the rhubarb leaves?
Rhubarb leaves are poisonous and must be removed before using the rhubarb. Eat the stalks only. If you have stalks with the leaves attached, simply cut them off and keep the stalks. (Noting that the stalks keep better and longer in your fridge with the leaves removed.)
How do I choose the best rhubarb?
- Look for firm stalks, avoiding any which are limp or blemished.
- If the leaves are attached, they should be fresh and crisp.
- Pick stalks with deeper red colors if possible. This will make for the prettiest pies and deepest colored syrups.
If you try my recipe for Rhubarb Simple Syrup, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Homemade Rhubarb Simple Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups granulated sugar
- *optional flavorings - see note
- Combine water and rhubarb in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Set up a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the mixture through the strainer. (Do not press on the fruit.)
- Return the infused water to the saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to boil and let boil for 5 minutes to fully dissolve the sugar.
- Add any optional flavorings and let them steep as the syrup cools.
- Once the syrup is cool (and the flavorings removed), store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator in a well sealed container. You may also freeze the syrup for up to 3 months.
- Sugar: A true simple syrup uses equal amounts of sugar and water by volume. I prefer a less sweet syrup so I use no more than 1 1/2 cups in the recipe; however you may wish more.
- Flavorings: Flavorings you can add to the syrup include:
- 1 cinnamon stick,
- 1 vanilla bean
- a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2-3 sprigs of mint
- 3-4 strips of citrus peel - lemon, lime, or orange.
- Add your flavoring once you take the syrup off the heat and let it steep while the syrup cools. It will take anywhere from 10-30 minutes for the flavor to infuse, depending on what you are using and how strong you want it. Taste as it steeps until you are happy with the results.
- Pressing on the fruit: Resist the temptation. Pressing the fruit in the sieve will make for a cloudy syrup.