There aren’t too many drink recipes kicking around here, I think partly because I don’t have a good blender here and because drinks seem a bit too simple sometimes. But this is always a hit, and it’s a great way to use rhubarb.
If you’ve never had rhubarb lemonade, or rhubarb in a drink at all, you’re in for a treat. It adds a lovely subtle flavour without overwhelming the lemon and honey. Plus! It’s a fun twist on a typical pink lemonade and very spring-like.
This’ll keep in the fridge for a while, and if you want to make a sparkling lemonade, you can reduce the amount of water by half and then do half rhubarb lemonade and half sparkling water when you serve it. A splash of elderflower cordial is a nice addition for a hint of floral flavour.
- Rhubarb: green or red, it doesn’t matter, if you’re using the beet trick.
- Lemons: if you want to keep the zest, grate it off before juicing and dry or freeze!
- Honey: I don’t find maple syrup or other liquid sweeteners to be a good vegan substitute here, but if you are anti-honey you can switch it out.
- Water: filtered if your tap water is a bit funky.
Step by Step
Notes and Substitutions
This would be vegan but for the honey, and I don’t think maple syrup is a great substitution here as it’s a bit of a strong flavour. Of course I use maple syrup with rhubarb all the time, but it is a little much in a drink.
Keep in mind that this must be cooked before serving, so you need to take cooling time into consideration. To cool rapidly, place the base of the pot into a bowl of ice water.
Some readers have said they really like the taste of the rhubarb puree after straining. I usually compost it but have added to sweet breads like this rhubarb cake base – if you want to use it, that’s one good way.
Beet for Colour
If you’re lucky enough to get forced or fully pink rhubarb, great! Then you don’t need to worry about swamp-green lemonade.
The trick to getting a perfectly pink lemonade is adding a piece of red beet (peeled) to the green rhubarb as it cooks. It’ll colour the whole mixture a pleasantly rosy colour and you can’t taste it at all. Just be sure to take the beet out before blending.
If you don’t have a spare beet, of course you can blend a handful of strawberries into the mix here, or add a few raspberries to get the pink colour (both will taste good).
More Rhubarb Recipes
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- 300 grams (~2 cups) rhubarb, chopped
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) honey
- Place the rhubarb and water into a medium pot and heat on high, covered.
- Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender* to puree until smooth. (Remove the beet before blending if using.)
- Strain this mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing gently to extract all of the juice. Discard the remaining rhubarb pulp.
- Stir in the honey and lemon juice.
- Place in the refrigerator and cool for at least two hours, or until cold, before serving. It will keep for at least a week if stored in the refrigerator in a sealed bottle.
• If your rhubarb is quite green, add a chunk of peeled beet to the pot while you cook it to add a pink colour. Just make sure to remove the beet before blending!
* Alternatively, use a heat-safe blender to mix. If you don't have one, wait for it to cool before blending.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 1g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
This post was originally published in May 2018. It has been updated most recently as of June 2021.