Rhubarb & Rosewater Syrup

Rhubarb & Rosewater Syrup

This, my friends, is how you want to use that rhubarb you've been seeing at the market lately. It's a syrup, sure, but I'd venture to guess it's a syrup unlike any you've tasted. It has a lot going on, tartness from the rhubarb, tang from fresh lime juice, a backdrop of sweetness that's anything but shy, and the wildcard finish - rosewater. The resulting syrup is strong, and lovely, and a kiss of it is just what a bowl of yogurt, or glass of soda water needs.

Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup RecipeRhubarb Rosewater Syrup Recipe

And it really couldn't be simpler to make. Chop a few stalks of rhubarb, toss with sugar, then let it sit around until everything settles into a cold, sweet stew. Fire up your burner, and simmer until the rhubarb breaks down, then strain out the solids. You're left with a vibrant rose-hued liquid. When you cook this down with a bit of fresh lime juice you end up with a fragrant, beautiful gem of a syrup. A finishing splash of rosewater is the final surprise - the je ne sais quoi factor.

Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup Recipe
Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup RecipeRhubarb Rosewater Syrup Recipe

As I mention up above, I use this syrup in simple spritzers, and as a way to add a bit of flair to plain yogurt. I imagine it would be amazing over cornmeal waffles or pancakes, or in place of a drizzle of honey over certain cheeses - good, soft goat cheese comes to mind. It's just one of those simple, homemade things that is nice to have on hand. And come to think of it, it'd be a nice lip gloss flavor as well ;)

Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup RecipeRhubarb Rosewater Syrup Recipe

Let me know if you do something fun with this, or if you give it your own twist. xo -h

Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup

5 from 5 votes

HS: I use lime here, I think it really adds something, a needed edge. That said, lemon is quite nice as well.

  • 4 large / 500 g / 1 pound rhubarb stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups / 400 g granulated sugar
  • 2 cups / 475 ml water
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • scant 2 teaspoons rosewater, or to taste
  • rose petals, optional
  1. Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan. Stir well, and leave for 45 minutes or so (unheated), stirring now and then.
  2. Add the water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb starts to break down. Carefully strain into a bowl through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Transfer to a clean saucepan, stir in the lime juice, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer over medium heat for another 15 minutes or until the syrup has reduced quite a bit and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Stir in the rosewater a bit at a time, until it is to your liking. Rose water can be quite an assertive flavor, so be judicious to start. It keeps, refrigerated, for a week or so.
  4. Serve over yogurt, in soda water, or drizzled over waffles.

Makes one medium jar of syrup.

Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


  • into my prosecco it will go. :)

  • This looks so pretty, and I love the idea of it being used as a lipgloss flavour too. I love rhubarb.

    Jennifer (Delicieux)
  • Absolutely so beautiful, Heidi! This is something my grandmother would have loved; the flavors, the colors, the delicate nature of it. Your posts always put me in another era, especially because of your photos. Just stunning!

    Averie @ Averie Cooks
  • This is great! I was just thinking the other day that I needed more rhubarb in my life. I would totally invest in this flavor combination, both for sodas and for lip gloss. :)

  • I love this, it would work so well in cocktails, go thing the rhubarb is coming into season. I think I'll have to give this a try for my next party.

  • This is such a great idea. I've been roasting rhubarb and using it on top of yoghurt or rice pudding. It's nice to see something a bit different. Thanks!

  • This sounds delish. I would drizzle this over my citrus almond tea cakes, or spoon on top of Greek yogurt panna cotta with candied pistachio crunch. I heart rhubarb and all it's sweet, vegetale nuances.

    Kir Jensen
  • I love the idea of rhubarb syrup. And the color pink it turns out is so pretty! Maybe I will use it to make some "pink" lemonade or mix in with champagne for a refreshing cocktail

    Martha @ Weekend Doins
  • I'm going to make this and add it to my homemade Meyer Lemonade.

    HS: Brilliant.

  • Thank you, Heidi! I just got 5 pounds of maple sugar. I will try that as well as your version so I can compare. I love maple syrup Grade B not only for the taste but it is the blood of the tree and full of minerals and other healthful things. I make berry gallettes so I will try this syrup in place of maple syrup. I may just bathe in it. It could happen...

  • Oh, this is so pretty!

  • I love your rosewater/rhubarb idea - next time I make rhubarb syrup I'll definitely have to try that out! I made a very similar rhubarb syrup for cocktails a couple weeks ago, except rather than rosewater I simmered a few sprigs of rosemary with the rhubarb, which I loved! It made some great (and beautifully pink) cocktails when mixed with gin and grapefruit juice.

  • Oh, that syrup is such a gorgeous shade of pink! (and that aside about the lip gloss- do you make your own?!)

    charlotte au chocolat
  • I just made rhubarb syrup last weekend- actually rhubarb and ginger syrup. It made one heck of a pretty spritzer. I ate the leftover rhubarb solids spooned over some yogurt with a sprinkle of pistachios for a pretty and simple breakfast. And then there were those rhubarb and ginger mojitos... yum.

  • I've been itching to try rhubarb! Somehow I've get to get around to it. This looks wonderful.

    Blog is the New Black
  • I love the tartness of rhubarb. What a gorgeous colour that syrup is! I like all your ideas on what you can do with it, too.

    leaf (the indolent cook)
  • I am always looking for rhubarb recipes since there is such a short window!

    stacey snacks
  • How long do you think the syrup can be kept around?

  • Spritzers and yogurt? I see a cocktail in the making....

  • A few years ago I created a Rhubarb and Guava Sorbet recipe which is just to die for. It contains Rosewater and Cardamom, so I know that the flavors go really well together!

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