When you hit that time of year that a cool refreshing drink is all you can think about, why not try something a little different like this recipe for Rhubarb Lemonade? Two normally tart ingredients come together to make a lovely beverage that is surprisingly sweet, but not too sweet.
Homemade Rhubarb Lemonade
One of the things I love about the first few weeks of Farmers Market Season is the fresh stalks of rhubarb that are stacked high next to the rest of the early Spring produce. I am always looking for ways to utilize it other than pies.
Why not lemonade? If you’re going to make some, why not do something a little different? This delicious homemade Rhubarb Lemonade is a tasty and refreshing alternative to a typical lemonade! It’s made in a very similar way most of us are used to, but with the addition of rhubarb instead of simple syrup.
Rhubarb is most often reserved for pies and other desserts like my Rhubarb and Apricot Hand Pies, but I think it makes a lovely addition to lemonade. Don’t let the tartness of rhubarb paired with lemon worry you. This is sweet without being too sweet, and I love the color the rhubarb adds. I happen to think that these two very tart ingredients go quite well together, it’s just a matter of sweetening them enough.
I love this drink on a warm Spring day, as the weather starts to heat up and the Lilacs are blooming. It really makes me feel like Winter is finally over.
Ingredients for Rhubarb Lemonade
Rhubarb- You’ll want to look for rhubarb that is firm and not turning brown. It can vary in shades of pink from light to almost fuchsia, and there may be streaks of green throughout the stalks.
Try to use your rhubarb within a day or two of getting it home. Wait any longer than that, and it tends to start looking sad.
Lemon Juice- Do yourself a favor here and use fresh squeezed lemon juice. The flavor is so much better! You’ll need the juice from about 6 or 7 lemons depending on size. Just keep juicing until you reach the amount of juice needed. You may need around 8 lemons if they are smaller.
Granulated Sugar- I used plain old granulated white sugar for this recipe. You could try using turbinado sugar if you like.
I have not tested this recipe using sugar alternatives such as Stevia or Monkfruit, but any substitute you can cook with should work here, just be sure to taste the puree as it cooks to ensure it’s sweet enough.
Water- There is no need to heat the water first, room temperature water is just fine.
If you want this to be extra cold, you can even refrigerate your pitcher ahead of time with the amount of water you’ll need so it’s nice and chilled.
You may be wondering how this recipe will turn out using a puree, and I can assure you it is great! I like using a puree rather than a syrup made with rhubarb juice because I want all the flavor I can get from the rhubarb. Once it is stirred into the lemonade the puree becomes diluted, so it will not “thicken” the lemonade at all.
This Rhubarb Puree recipe is best made a few hours or even a day ahead so that it can refrigerate. I love the make ahead part, because once you are ready to make the lemonade itself it’s just a matter of juicing the lemons, adding the water and finishing it off with the puree and giving everything a nice stir.
If a potato masher is not enough to help you break down the rhubarb as it cooks, an immersion blender will do the job nicely.
You will want this to be on the sweeter side, because not only is rhubarb tart, but so are the lemons. The finished drink will be sweet while still having a little tartness to it. If you want it sweeter, by all means add a little extra sugar to the puree as it cooks.
How To Make Rhubarb Puree
- Cut the rhubarb into slices about a half inch thick.
- Place them in a 2 quart saucepan with sugar.
- Cook the sugar and rhubarb until the sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is soft.
- Puree the mixture using a stick blender.
- Pour the puree into a container with a tight fitting lid and chill.
How can you puree the rhubarb if you don’t have a stick blender? Just pour the rhubarb and sugar mixture into a regular blender and puree until smooth.
How To Make Fresh Lemonade
- If your lemons feel a bit stiff, use the palm of your hand to roll them back and forth on your kitchen counter to loosen them up a bit so they are easier to juice.
- Cut the lemons in half and juice them.
- Add the lemon juice to your pitcher.
- Next, add your water and stir well.
If you were making regular lemonade, this is the point where you would add your simple syrup, but we are not making simple syrup for this recipe because we are using the rhubarb puree.
I advise juicing the lemons as you are assembling this, rather than doing this part ahead of time. This way, the lemon juice is nice and fresh.
There is no need to add any sugar to the lemon juice and water, because all the sweetening you need is in the puree.
I don’t recommend using store bought lemon juice for this recipe, it just isn’t as fresh as bottled.
How To Make Rhubarb Lemonade
How do you make rhubarb lemonade? This rhubarb lemonade is so easy!
Here are the basic steps for making this lemonade:
- Make the Rhubarb Puree.
- Refrigerate the puree while you make the lemonade.
- Juice the lemons.
- Add your lemon juice to a large pitcher with a lid.
- Next, add the chilled rhubarb puree to the pitcher and stir well.
After making the puree and juicing the lemons it’s as easy as mixing everything up in a large pitcher.
I suggest using a pitcher with a good tight lid that allows you to shake it up. Shaking really helps combine the rhubarb puree with the water and lemon juice.
Can This Rhubarb Lemonade Recipe Be Doubled To Serve A Crowd?
Yes! It is easily doubled. As the recipe is written, it yields about a half gallon and you can easily make more.
Are There Variations For Rhubarb Lemonade?
If you want to try something a little different with this recipe, you could make strawberry rhubarb lemonade by switching out half the rhubarb for an equal amount of strawberries and carry on making the recipe as normal!
How To Serve Rhubarb Lemonade
I love a big glass of this with a slice or wedge of lemon in the glass. It’s great with brunch, on a picnic with Curried Chicken Salad with Coconut, or at home with something fresh off the grill. I love it alongside Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables or Potato Salad with Leek Scapes and Herbs or part of a brunch spread with my Vanilla Dutch Baby with Clementine Curd. So really, it’s whenever with whatever!
Looking for other drinks to try? Check out my Appetizers and Drinks category for more great recipes. If you’d like additional ideas for other dishes to serve with your Rhubarb Lemonade, head over to Side Dishes and Salads or Main Dishes and Sandwiches.
This will keep refrigerated for about 5 days, but it probably won’t last that long. It’s important to note that this should be stirred a bit before each pour, as the rhubarb puree will settle to the bottom of the pitcher. It only takes a few stirs to combine everything before pouring.
If you tried this Rhubarb Lemonade recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Just leave a rating or comment below, or take a picture and tag me @thecoppertable on Instagram.
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This easy beverage showcases rhubarb in a whole new way. It's sweet with a slight tartness and lots of rhubarb flavor!
For the Rhubarb Puree
- 2 1/4 cups chopped Rhubarb (about 2-3 large stalks)
- 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
For the Lemonade
- 1 1/2 cups Lemon Juice (about 6-8 lemons)
- 7 cups cold Water
- Cut the rhubarb into clices a half inch thick. If you have never cooked with rhubarb before, it is much like cutting celery.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the chopped rhubarb and sugar until the rhubarb becomes soft and the sugar has dissolved, about 15 minutes.
- Use a stick blender to break up the rhubarb into a smooth puree. Alternatively, you can place the mixture in a blender and puree it.
- Place the puree in an airtight container and refrigerate to cool for several hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to make the lemonade after the puree has cooled, juice the lemons and add them to a gallon pitcher. Add the water and the rhubarb puree and stir well. If your pitcher has an airtight lid, giving it a good shake also helps combine the ingredients.
Be sure to stir or shake the pitcher of lemonade before serving.
Try to use fresh squeezed lemon juice if possible.
The rhubarb puree is better made ahead and chilled for a few hours before using.
You can also refrigerate your pitcher of water in advance so it is nice and cold when you make the lamonade.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 1g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.