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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rhubarb Cordial

Not what you were expecting probably but that is because my rhubarb is green, green, green.
Nothing wrong with that but the richly red varieties seem to be the rage and they do produce pretty pink hues.

Gather your rhubarb stalks and discard the leaves. These are toxic but all is not wasted, you can make a pest spray from them and it is at this time of year that the sap suckers and leaf hoppers and white fly are increasing their numbers.
Wash your stalks and chop them up and into a pot.
The smell is heady and fresh like summer grass with the dew evaporating in a hot morning sun.
This recipe is for about 3kg of rhubarb but you can adjust the quantities quite easily to suit your harvest.
Also into the pot with the rhubarb place 150ml of water. Tis a scant amount but you are wanting the juices from the rhubarb and you will extract these gently by placing on the lowest heat and allowing the mass to soften and collapse. I did cover my pot with a lid slightly ajar as I didn't want any of the liquids to evaporate.

Slowly it cooks and collapses and the lovely apple green colour has changed to a tinned asparagus colour!
Take your muslin square and dredge it in boiling water....
Oh dear! I use a cloth for draining cheese curds and such at least 3-4 times a year but I can never find it when I need it. Again I make a mental note that I need to find a more logical place to store it.
So from the fabric stash I take a scrap of the most divine fine cotton and sterilize.

I placed the divine fabric over a bowl and secured with a rubber band and some string, allowing a very slight hollow to take the pulp. Pour the pulp and juice in and cover it with the trailing ends to prevent any contaminants (flies) and allow to sit for several hours or overnight dripping it's way through to the bowl beneath.

For every 1litre of liquid add 700g of sugar and 75ml of lemon juice in a saucepan dissolving the sugar and bringing it up to about 70C. 
Sterilize you bottles (15min in the oven at 100C) and using a funnel, pour the hot liquid into the hot bottles.

So by the time you have run out of Elder Flower cordial, you will be able to continue the season with Rhubarb cordial. It is luscious and refreshing when mixed with a soda water. 
I found this recipe here.


  1. Sounds great Tanya...
    Do you have to keep the cordial refrigerated?

    Would certainly be refreshing in this weather.

    It's pretty storming looking here, am holding my breath waiting to see what it's going to do.

    Claire x

  2. Yes .. thanks for the recipe. Two months until spring ... and counting.

  3. This is fantastic. I have it bookmarked. YAY! Thanks so much for sharing. I've never even considered making cordial before... let alone rhubarb cordial. Brilliant.

  4. A little late with the comment but I'm going to try this in the spring!


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