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.

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.
Notes

Makes one medium jar of syrup.

Serves
12
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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Comments

  • a wonderful recipe. so looking forward to trying it - martini! thanks for sharing.

    beth vlasich pav
  • What a lovely post, from the visuals to the fascinating (and useful) content. Always enjoy your pieces.

    Griff
  • Oh lovely recipe! I might switch the sugar out for honey -- but as the commenter above said: into my prosecco it goes!

    House&Hold - Summer
  • Really beautiful and inspired photos! A perfect spring drink and so pretty!

    amy chaplin
  • Where do you get rosewater? I've got plenty of red roses now. Canning the syrup sounds like a great idea.

    Joan K
  • I *love* this recipe Heidi. I'm certainly going to try it and I think this one's going on my blog with your link :). The photos are absolutely beautiful.

    Oana from dishchronicles
  • To Gwyneth Genevieve who posted earlier about not seeing rhubarb in the UK yet: It's been available in my local supermarket (Morrisons) for months, since the first forced rhubarb of the season in late winter, so it must be available somewhere near you. In fact I've seen it for sale in several different places, but then I do live in the "rhubarb triangle"!

    Saskia
  • In your picture you have it in a canning jar. Do you think it could be water bath canned? (the acidity of rhubarb?). Ive made a rose petal jam before so probably?

    Jen
  • Hi Heidi, rose water and rhubarb, what a wonderful, fragrant combination - we use rose water a lot in Turkish cooking; it adds a lovely, floral aroma to baked goods and beverages. I also add it on the syrup for baklava, and it is lovely when making Turkish Delight too. Love rhubarb, can't wait to try your recipe!:)

    Ozlem's Turkish Table
  • As I read this, I'm enjoying homemade rhubarb clafoutis for breakfast. I cannot get enough of rhubarb's tart flavor, and look forward to visiting the Boulder farmers market tomorrow to get more rhubarb and make this lovely syrup!

    la domestique
  • Would it work to put the rhubarb through the juicer first to get rid of the fiber and cook it down afterwards? I'm just thinking it would be a lot less messy.

    Jan
  • I would love to give a try to this recipe, but I live in Brazil, and rhubarb aren't common around here, by any chance do you have some tip to substitut it? So very tks for your recipes, I've cooked your cauliflower soup (from your book) yesterday - just perfect!! xoxo Nina

    nina
  • oh! how lovely this sounds! i immediately thought of a simple little plain cookie recipe i have, almost more of a tea biscuit/cracker really...it's a perfect conveyance for other flavors, sometimes i grate in a little orange or lemon zest, or if i have some fancy liqueur around, I'll add a spoonful of that. but a rhubarb rosemary tea biscuit?! oh my! now I'll have to have a tea party :-) bettye

    bettye rainwater
  • I haven't seen any rhubarb at the market for 4 years...

    Mike
  • What wonderful flavors together, tart with floral and sweetness... a nice dry Champagne perhaps? Beautiful pics Heidi.

    Kelly
  • I'd love to try this as I love rhubarb, but I'm allergic to roses. Would you pair it with another flavor or is it just as good on its own?

    HS: it's still really good. But I'm thinking that orange blossom could work if you want to avoid roses and still want the fragrance / flower notes.

    Lorraine
  • I've been playing in the kitchen with both rhubarb and rosewater, now this is beautiful recipe that I must try. I hope i can present as elegantly as you have too.

    shaheen
  • Gosh, your syrup sounds and looks nice. What a beautiful colour. Your idea of the syrup on goat cheese sounds lovely. My mom used to make strawberry rhubarb pie at this time of year. You've stirred up childhood memories.

    Kathleen
  • There was beautiful rhubarb at the market today and I came home and made this syrup. AMAZING!! And the solids left over went on a bowl of oatmeal, which was also killer. Thank you for the amazing recipe. Tonight, rhubarb bellinis!!!

    Lee F
  • Ahhmmm......how about in a cocktail!!

    SuZQ
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