Rhubarb rose water cordial

This makes a delicious, refreshing summer drink and is a good way to use up excess garden rhubarb, as you can freeze it in batches. The recipe comes from my book Taste.

Makes 650ml

680g trimmed rhubarb

680g granulated sugar

1 lemon, juiced

a generous teaspoon distilled rose water


Cut the rhubarb stems into 2.5cm chunks.   Mix with the sugar in a china bowl.   Cover and macerate for an hour.   Add 250ml water and transfer to a non-corrosive saucepan.   Dissolve the sugar over a low heat, bring to the boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb disintegrates and releases its juice.   Tip into a muslin jelly bag suspended over a clean bowl and leave to drip for 6 hours.


Return the liquid to a non-corrosive saucepan and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes.   It should reduce by about 100ml.   Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and pour, while warm, into a sterilised bottle or jar.   Once cold, add the distilled rose water.   Seal, shake and store in the fridge.


To serve, put a few ice cubes in a glass, add cordial to taste, top up with cold water or soda and stir.   

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