Rhubarb is springing up all around roadside stands, markets, and backyards. It’s a welcome sign of spring and summer to come! Our crew heads out early every morning to pluck the flowers off our plants, and we’ll pick as much as we can for the first CSA shares of 2015 – which are just 2 weeks away! Rhubarb is loved for it’s tart and tangy flavor and often paired with strawberries. In the Northeast rhubarb and strawberries don’t always coincide, our strawberries tend to come in later than in warmer climate zones. Enjoy rhubarb on it’s own in cakes and pies instead, it’s brilliant pink stems give off a lovely hue like in this easy simple syrup.
If you’re headed to a market look for the most colorful stems you can for a vibrant pink syrup. If your stems are mostly green this syrup will still taste great – muddle some berries in the bottom of a glass for a more colorful drink or float a wedge of citrus on top.
Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is when the rhubarb mixture is strained a sweet tangy jam is left behind. Spread onto toast, or use for a pie or crumble filling.
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
4 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Place rhubarb, water, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes until rhubarb is softened and mixture is thickened.
Set a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the rhubarb mixture into the strainer. Use a wooden spoon to press the solids, leaving as much liquid in the bowl as possible. Store the liquid in a bottle in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 weeks if it lasts that long!
Use the leftover rhubarb solids as a jam or spread for toast, or in a pie filling.
- Mix 1 – 2 tablespoons with seltzer water for rhubarb soda.
- For a boozy drink mix 1 – 1 1/2 oz gin, 2 oz lemonade, and .5 oz of rhubarb simple syrup over ice. Top with a splash of seltzer and slice of lemon.
- Make a Rhubarb Bellini – place about 1/2 oz of rhubarb simple syrup in a champagne flute and top with prosecco or champagne. Add more syrup to taste.
- Use rhubarb simple syrup in a mojito.
- Add rhubarb syrup to the sour mix in a margarita.