Rhubarb lemonade

Rhubarb recipe

It just ain’t summer without it

Swedish rhubarb season marks the start of our summer and it’s the first thing we can harvest when the snow is finally gone. To understand exactly how much we love our rhubarb have a look at this Google Trends-chart. It’s like we think of nothing but rhubarb from the middle of May until the beginning of June.

My father-in-law and his best friend, Chief aka The Chief, did some serious harvesting a couple of days ago and first thing I did was of course lemonade. The first of the season is like meeting Santa when you’re three years old: It’s read, it’s sweet and you never want to let it go.

It’s not that the winter has been totally rhubarb-free cause they are perfect to cut into chunks and freeze for later use. They loose the texture but are perfect for lemonade, pie or ice cream.

I have tried a variety of rhubarb lemonade recipes over the years and although most are good, there is nothing so far that has come even close to this. This is the juice I was brought up on and with that said – this is my mother’s recipe. But it is so good that it must be spread.

If that’s not enough to convince you, get ready for the real sales pitch: It’s transforming from fruits to lemonade more or less by itself. The amount of work on your behalf is taking a ridiculously little amount of time.

When you’re avoiding cooking the rhubarb you get a clear juice without any pulp the same time as the lemon will extract all the flavors. The amount of sugar must be adapted to your own taste and even though it contains no preservatives (not counting the sugar then that is) you can keep it for weeks in the fridge or freeze it for years.

If you want extra red lemonade avoid using the green part of the stems. Instead save them for a pie or ice cream.

Mix 1 part of the lemonade syrup and 4 parts water (more or less depending on taste).

Best enjoyed ice cold with a bunch of ice cubes when waking up after the afternoon nap in the hammock.

Rhubarb Lemonade

Time: 1 hour plus 24 hour of waiting

  • 1.500 g rhubarb stems
  • 2 lemons
  • 30 g citric acid
  • 2 liter water
  • 1.000 g sugar (depending on taste)
  1. Cut the rhubarb into chunks. Add to a large saucepan or skillet.
  2. Slice the lemons and add to the rhubarb. Sprinkle the citric acid on top.
  3. Bring the water to a poil and pour over the rhubarb. Cover and let rest at least 24 hours (add another 12 hours for that little extra flavour) somewhere not heated by direct sun but not in the fridge.
  4. Strain it through a fine cloth and let it take it’s time. Slowly press the solids to extract the juice but don’t overwork it since this can cause solids to pass through the cloth making the lemonade cloudy.
  5. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Stir for the first to minutes to dissolve the sugar, then remove any foam from the surface.
  6. Remove from heat, pour into clean bottles or freeze for future use.