Rhubarb & Rosewater Syrup
A beautiful ruby-hued rhubarb rosewater syrup. Perfect on (or in) everything from yogurt, spritzers, waffles, or oatmeal.
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.
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.
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 ;)
Let me know if you do something fun with this, or if you give it your own twist. xo -h
Rhubarb Rosewater Syrup
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
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.
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.
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.
Serve over yogurt, in soda water, or drizzled over waffles.
Makes one medium jar of syrup.
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Coincidentally, I had exactly one pound of last season's stalks in my freezer, looking for some inspiration. Immediately grabbed the bag and made your lovely sauce! My twist: simmered the rhubarb with 2 star anise pods and 3 cardammom pods for some unusual hints of spice. Also used orange blossom water instead of rose water. Delicately floral, with warm, exotic notes. Can't wait to drizzle this on some homemade vanilla ice cream! Thanks for a beautiful project to brighten my morning.
I would love to try this....I GROW rhubarb so it would be from my yard to the bowl. Where the heck to you get rosewater...I have not heard of its use before.
THIS is going to make great mothers day presents! Thankyou :)
This is absolutely stunning! Beautiful photos, and great recipe :)
This looks divine. I love the pink in the glasses: makes me feel like all is summer. Well done!
Can this syrup be frozen ? Would love to have extra to use throughout the year!
Thanks Heidi - another creative recipe for those of us who are always at a loss for how to use that beautiful rhubarb, not to mention those lingering drops of rosewater :)
This sounds perfect to add to my pellegrino on these hot days we have been having.
Gorgeous combination of colour and tastes. I will be using this syrup instead of pomegranate molasses as a sheep yogurt topping with pistachio nuts (a fav & fast desert). BTW Rhubarb makes an exquisite handmade paper additive, the shade is from pale celadon green to light rose and the fiber curls in the sheet looking like shadow calligraphy
I've got a big bunch of rhubarb at home and I've been wondering just what to use it for. This sounds utterly delightful.
This is a really fancy recipe! I'm definitely going to try it as I never had rhubarb + rosemary syrup in my life!
Lovely idea! My son requests rhubarb juice every spring. I can it so we have it all year long. We add it to 7up or Sprite. I think I'll try your version this year, I like the idea of a syrup instead. Pancakes here I come!!
I would use it to flavor a fresh fruit salad.
You are right: this is exactly how I want to use the rhubarb at my local market. I'll get to it this weekend. Rhubarb really is nice to look at. I can't wait to add it to soda water.
This looks fantastic! I haven't seen any fresh rhubarb in the UK yet, but I noticed some canned rhubarb in the store the other day; would that work, instead?
Hi Heidi - what line of stainless cookware do you use?
HS: Hi Paula - That is Le Creuset.
This is so gorgeous - where did you get those glasses?! They are stunning!
I'm on an inti-inflammatory diet, so no sugar for me, however I will try these with pineapple essence made by Wax Orchards, which I often use as a sweetener. I love the idea of little bottles of the syrup as gifts.
Romance syrup, that's what I'm naming it. I want to try this dribbled over raspberries and topped with a spoonful of lightly whipped cream. Thanks Heidi. :)
The color is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.