How To Make Homemade Rhubarb Cordial

Have you ever wondered how to make homemade rhubarb cordial?

Each year, we’re treated to an abundance of rosy tinged rhubarb; cut some stalks and they’re quickly replaced with more.

Which sometimes means that we have a glut of it — and there’s only so much rhubarb crumble that one girl can eat!

We recently bought some delicious Rhubarb and Rosehip cordial from our local farmer’s market and suddenly realised that this is exactly what we could be doing with our own rhubarb.

With a little bit of guesswork we managed to create the perfect mix.

The magic ingredients for our homemade rhubarb cordial — just add water!
homemade rhubarb cordial
Sunshine is optional ;)
homemade rhubarb cordial
Freshly picked and waiting to be transformed!

Here’s how to make your own delicious homemade rhubarb cordial.

How To Make 

You’ll need:

  • 500ml water
  • 500g of golden caster sugar
  • The juice of 1 large orange plus the zest and some of the rind
  • The juice of 1 lemon plus the zest
  • 6 stalks of fresh rhubarb

The method is deliciously straightforward too! Super simple and very quick.

Chop the rhubarb into nice chunks then boil it up in a pan with the orange and lemon juice, plus the zest and rind, until the rhubarb is soft and breaking up.

Then add the sugar. My preference is golden caster because it has a lovely caramel flavour but any would do — I used plain old granulated the first time and that worked nicely too.

Bubble the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Leave to cool then strain* the mix into a bottle or jug.

*We couldn’t be bothered to wait for it to strain though a muslin. If you did have the patience for this, you’d be rewarded with a beautiful clear liquid. We just used a sieve and — as a result — our cordial is cloudy.

But hey — it still tastes amazing!!!

NB: Life’s too short for waiting around for homemade rhubarb cordial to strain through a cloth! MUCH nicer to be sat in the garden drinking it :)

Serve with plain water, sparking water or — ahem — Prosecco (depending on what time of day it is). And a liberal helping of ice.

Or you can even turn it in to an amazing cocktail!!

The Taste of Summer

rhubarb9
Delicious homemade rhubarb cordial
rhubarb7

How Long Will It Keep?

I suppose (as this is a recipe) I should be able to tell you exactly how long to keep the cordial for, but my boy and I haven’t managed to keep any for longer than two days (greedy goblins). 

We’ve tried to hazard a guess and we reckon that a week — in the fridge — would be a fair estimate.

One last thing I should mention! The strained rhubarb makes THE most amazing compote. Perfect when served with creamy greek yoghurt or ice-cream. Pop it in a sealed tub in the fridge and it will stay good for a week or so.

If you can manage to keep it that long ;)

Plus, if you’re feeling like you’d like something a little more ‘substantial’ — for want of a better word — why not make Rhubarb, Strawberry and Ginger Eton Mess? This lovely recipe is a twist on a classic and absolutely delicious.

A little Bit Of History

My grandad — who sadly passed  away a few years ago — was a really keen gardener.

His vegetable plot was long and wide but the soil quality poor and jet black.

Nan and grandad’s house was built near a coal mine and the earth in his garden was almost like coal dust; I’ve never seen anything like it before, or since. You’d almost think that it would be too arid to sustain the growth of any plant life but year in, year out, my grandad grew the most wonderful runner beans, beetroot and rhubarb.

Whenever we went to visit, we’d always end up taking home a bag of whatever was in season; plus a jar of my nana‘s marmalade, pickled beetroot or pickled onions.

For which she was legendary.

So when grandad died and the house had to be sold one of the things I wanted to take — as a memento — was a rhubarb plant .

We have it in our garden now and my grandad would be so proud to see it growing there.

Homemade Rhubarb Cordial
This year’s crop of runner beans; grown from the seeds of my grandad’s original bean plants!
Homemade Rhubarb Cordial
Some of grandad’s rhubarb, happily growing in our own veggie plot
Homemade Rhubarb Cordial
Fresh rosy stalks, waiting to be picked :)

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Homemade Rhubarb Cordial

Homemade Rhubarb Cordial

Yield: 500ml
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This gorgeous cordial is one of the best ways to use up a glut of rhubarb in the garden. Really easy to make and tastes delicious!

Ingredients

  • 500ml water
  • 500g of golden caster sugar
  • The juice of 1 large orange plus the zest and some of the rind
  • The juice of 1 lemon plus the zest
  • 6 stalks of fresh rhubarb

Instructions

    1. Chop the rhubarb into nice chunks then boil it up in a pan with the orange and lemon juice, plus the zest and rind, until the rhubarb is soft and breaking up.
    2. Then add the sugar. My preference is golden caster because it has a lovely caramel flavour but any would do — I used plain old granulated the first time and that worked nicely too.
    3. Bubble the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved.
    4. Leave to cool then strain the mix into a bottle or jug.

Notes

We couldn't be bothered to wait for it to strain though a muslin. If you did have the patience for this, you'd be rewarded with a beautiful clear liquid. We just used a sieve and — as a result — our cordial is cloudy. But hey — it still tastes amazing!!!

Life's too short for waiting around for homemade rhubarb cordial to strain through a cloth! MUCH nicer to be sat in the garden drinking it :)

Serve with plain water, sparking water or — ahem — Prosecco (depending on what time of day it is). And a liberal helping of ice.

Or you can even turn it in to an amazing gin and rhubarb cocktail!!

103 thoughts on “How To Make Homemade Rhubarb Cordial”

  1. Melanie!! You superstar — what a fantastic idea!! Thanks so much for letting me know — I might even do a dessert version on the blog if I get time this year. This is such a great adaption; thanks ever so much for taking the time to let me know. I really appreciate it :)

  2. Just come across this and want to try! Have you tried adding camden tablets to make it last longer? Just thinking i add that and citric acid when doing elderflower cordial…

  3. Hi Marnie! NO!! Although, weirdly, we were talking about Campden tablets just the other day!! Some elderflower cordial recipes use them and others don’t. I wondered if it made a difference to the flavour.

    In the case of the rhubarb cordial, I’ve never used Campden tablets — or citric acid — at all. We keep the cordial in the fridge but it never lasts that long before it all gets used up. The most we’ve managed to keep a bottle is 4 weeks, before we’re having to make more!! I’d be interested to know what the difference is. I might make a batch and see!

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