Homemade Rhubarb Cordial (Rhubarb Syrup) transforms sharp rhubarb into sweet & most refreshing drink. Simply dilute with either still or sparkling water to make delicious & thirst quenching beverage. Great in cocktails too!
This delicious Rhubarb Cordial is super easy to make and provides perfect drink solution on those hot days when just water simply won't do as you are after that little bit of lovely flavour in your drink. Shop bought cordials, squashes and syrups are more often than not loaded with unnecessary ingredients or artificial sweeteners which personally I like to stay clear of.
Ingredients you need to make Rhubarb Cordial (Rhubarb Syrup)
Rhubarb - simply washed and cut into smallish chunks. I get my organic rhubarb via my veg box scheme but in season you can get it anywhere from supermarkets to farmers' markets to your own gardens or allotments.
Sugar - either caster (fine) or granulated sugar will do. Yes there is fair amount of it but as we are making cordial/syrup which will be diluted, this is necessary.
Lemon - for a little bit of acidity and added flavour. You could also use orange instead or both if you want. As we are using zest as well I would recommend you look for unwaxed lemons. However, if not available, simply pour some boiling water over the lemon which will loosen the wax and make easier to remove it with your veggie scrubbing brush.
Ginger (optional) - I like adding a little bit of grated ginger which will give you a very subtle undertone of flavour. For cordial with a bit of a kick you might want to increase the amount of ginger or if you are not fussed you can leave it out altogether.
Water - I like using filtered water in my cooking but tap water will do just fine.
Storing Homemade Rhubarb Cordial (Rhubarb Syrup)
My rhubarb cordial will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks although in our house with 4 of us drinking it, 700ml bottle/ 3 cups (which is roughly the quantity you get from this recipe) lasts 4-5 days.
If you have got large amount of rhubarb to process and would like for your cordial to keep for longer you can add citric acid* - preservative which will extend its shelf-life to several months. Citric acid can be purchased online or at your chemist's. Use 1 tsp for this recipe. You can of course double, triple etc. the recipe depending on the amount of rhubarb you've got and then increase the amount of citric acid accordingly.
Few extra tips!
Once you've made your cordial you will be left with substantial amount of rhubarb mush/pulp. You could of course throw it away but as I really hate waste I tend to use it with my porridge or over yogurt and granola. Admittedly, the mixture is quite sweet although if you choose to use grated ginger it will also have a bit of spice to it. The good thing is that with that, there is no need for additional sweetener like honey or maple syrup required on your porridge and it tastes really delicious! I highly recommend it!
All you really need is to decide whether you'd like to dilute it with still or sparkling water! For a bit of added flare pop few sliced strawberries in the glass or slice of lemon and some mint or basil, be creative! On a really hot day you might want to add some ice too!
To make a simple yet delicious & grown-up Summer cocktail use Prosecco or Cava instead of water! It's the way to go. Perfect tipple for garden parties!
Do I need to sterilise my bottles?
To store my rhubarb cordial I use the brown bottles with swing tops you see on the photographs which my hubby uses when he makes his home brew. If I only make a small batch like one or two bottles of cordial I must admit I do not bother sterilising them. All I do is wash them really thoroughly in hot, soapy water, give them a good rinse with hot water as well and use for my cordial.
However, I would recommend that you sterilise your bottles if you want to keep your cordial for longer as even small amount of invisible bacteria can spoil your efforts.
How to sterilise bottles?
First of all, wash them thoroughly in hot, soapy water and give them a good rinse (preferably in hot water as well). Preheat your oven to 160C/320F/Gas Mark 3. Place all your opened bottles on the clean baking tray and "bake" in preheated oven for 15 min. You might have to rearrange the racks in your oven to be able to fit your tray with bottles. Once the time is up, take the bottles out of the oven and fill them with rhubarb cordial as soon as possible. You will have to multitask here and make sure that your cordial has been strained and ready for bottling once they are out of the oven.
How to make Homemade Rhubarb Cordial (Rhubarb Syrup)?
Homemade Rhubarb Cordial (Rhubarb Syrup)
- 500 g rhubarb cleaned and cut into chunks
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger peeled and finely grated (optional)
- 1 lemon (zest & juice) preferrably unwaxed and organic (see notes)
- 250 g caster (fine) or granulated sugar
- 400 ml water
- Put rhubarb, sugar, grated ginger (if using), lemon zest, juice and water into large pan or stockpot and give them a mix.
- Put the pan on a medium heat and bring to boil. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until rhubarb turns soft and mushy and sugar dissolves.
- Take the pan of the heat and prepare the bowl or large measuring jug you can easily fit the sieve on. Strain the cordial (syrup) through the sieve. I usually help to speed up the process with the spoon but if you are after a really clear syrup you might want to leave it be for a few hours as the syrup drips slowly into a bowl. Whichever way you choose, it does not affect the flavour!
- Pour the cordial (syrup) into prepared sterilised bottles (see above for details) and chill in the fridge.
- Dilute 50ml cordial (syrup) to 150ml water.
- Enjoy with some ice!
- Nutritional values are approximate, per serving (50ml of undiluted cordial) and should be treated as guideline only.
- Feel free to replace lemon with orange or even use both.
- Rhubarb cordial will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. For longer shelf-life add citric acid (read above).
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