If you’re anything like me you’ll have a glut of rhubarb in the garden that needs to be used up this month. I’m a big fan of a rhubarb crumble, but it is summer and a crumble isn’t the lightest of desserts. A nice light rhubarb fool like this one from BBC Good Food can, however, go down a treat at this time of year, and I do adore some rhubarb compote in my morning muesli.
All that being said, I’m looking for something a bit different to do with my leftover produce this year. A few months ago I visited the lovely Gardeners Cottage restaurant in Edinburgh where I was treated to a delicious glass of rhubarb cordial with sparkling water – and now I have the inspiration to recreate it with the rhurbarb from the allotment.
If you fancy giving it a go I’ve included a few of my favourite recipes below. I’m a particular fan of the suggestion from The Pantry and Parlour to add prosecco rather than sparkling water – just be sure not to drink the whole bottle while you’re waiting for your cordial to come to fruition!
Recipe from The Pantry and the Parlour
3kg chopped rhubarb
Slowly cook the rhubarb with the water in a big pan with the lid on, until it’s completely soft and mushy. Strain the rhubarb through a muslin cloth, catching the juice. This can take several hours, or even better, overnight. Don’t rush it – if you squeeze the rhubarb, your cordial will go cloudy.
For every litre of juice you have, add 750g sugar and 75ml lemon juice. Heat until just below boiling point to dissolve the sugar, then bottle into sterilised bottles.
Dilute with water (or Prosecco) to taste.
A calorie conscious recipe from Sarah Raven
4 star anise
One lemon cut in half
8 tbsp maple syrup (plus 2 more if you like things sweet)
Put all the rhubarb, lemon halves and star anise into a large pan and add the cold water. Bring rhubarb to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently until it is soft. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Pour rhubarb and juice into a large jelly bag (hanging over a large bowl) and allow juice to drip through overnight.
Pour the juice into a pan and, on a low heat, add the maple syrup.
Allow to cool, pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge. Use within a week. 51 calories per 80ml diluted drink