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A Deliciously Refreshing Recipe for Rhubarb Lemonade

rhubarb drink

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Have you seen the food recalls lately?

Apple juice drinks recalled for arsenic. Bottled water recalled for bacteria and manganese. Assorted drinks like lemonades, powerades, and others that were not disclosing their use of food dyes which have benzidine, a carcinogen. YUCK!

The drinks at the store aren’t even safe to consume anymore. That means it is time to return to our roots in the kitchen and begin making our own juices from bare and real ingredients. This is exactly what I did! I have a rhubarb patch that I have processed into a variety of desserts and sauces. This year, I figured I would make some juice out of it because I have been enjoying my cranberry juice.

I love lemonade on a hot summer day, so I figured why not make rhubarb lemonade concentrate? Rhubarb lemonade is crafted with rhubarb (obviously) and intertwined with citrus like lemons and oranges. I love the flavor or rhubarb as well, it definitely is something you won’t find in the stores. So if you have a rhubarb patch sitting untouched ready to be processed, this recipe is for you!

Benefits of Rhubarb

Nutritional Value

You wouldn’t think rhubarb would be full of nutrients, but it is! This is a commonly overlooked plant, but it is a beneficial have in the garden for its low maintenance and what it provides. It's low in calories and high in fiber, which make it appealing to all kinds of diets. Rhubarb is also a good source of vitamins K and C, as well as calcium and potassium. These are nutrients also found in the dandelion, almost like nature knows what we need at certain parts of the year.

Health Benefits

Rhubarb has a variety of health benefits as well. It's can aid digestion, improve bone health, and boost the immune system. The free radicals found in rhubarb can help combat free radical damage we get from our everyday environments as well. Rhubarb is an easy plan to grow in the garden that can provide you with much-needed sustenance for summer.

Ingredients for Rhubarb Lemonade

Main Ingredients
To make rhubarb lemonade, you'll need a few simple ingredients:

  • Fresh rhubarb
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Sugar
  • Water

Optional Add-ins

Once your rhubarb lemonade concentrate is made, you can spruce up your drinks with foods like mint, strawberry, or other summer vibe add-ins. If you want to make this a sparkling drink, you can use sparkling water or a ginger bug to make a rhubarb soda. I love picking mint from my garden to throw into lemonades!

Selecting the Best Rhubarb

When I share this drink online, people are amazed at how pink this lemonade is, naturally. That is because of the deep red stalks of rhubarb give the vibrant pink hue to the lemonade. When choosing rhubarb, look for stalks that are firm and crisp as well.

They will have a stronger rhubarb flavor. I do like to limit waste in my garden, so I will use whatever is there. The color can range from green to deep red, but the red stalks tend to be sweeter. Fresh rhubarb should snap easily when bent.

I have noticed that the redder stalks contribute to the natural pink hue of the rhubarb lemonade. Keep this in mind if you are after a pink lemonade vibe.

Cleaning and Cutting

Rinse the rhubarb stalks thoroughly under cold water. Trim off the leaves (they're not edible) and any rough ends. Be on the lookout for bugs as well. Cut the rhubarb into small, even pieces to ensure they cook evenly. I generally cut them into about one inch pieces. Proper cleaning and cutting are essential to remove any dirt and ensure a smooth texture in your lemonade.

rhubarb drink

Refreshing Rhubarb Lemonade

Rhubarb lemonade is crafted with rhubarb (obviously) and intertwined with citrus like lemons and oranges. I love the flavor or rhubarb as well, it definitely is something you won’t find in the stores.
Course Drinks


  • 12 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 orange (zest and juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar


  • Clean and wash the rhubarb and slice into about 1-inch pieces. Place into a saucepan. Zest the orange and the lemon onto the rhubarb and add in the water. Mix together.
  • Bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and has turned into strings. Remove from heat and add in the juice of the lemon and the orange.
  • Cover a strainer with cheese-cloth and place in a large bowl. Transfer the rhubarb mixture to strain through the cheesecloth. This process can take a couple of hours because the rhubarb drink is thick.
  • Once done, prepare your canner if you plan to can this rhubarb lemonade. Transfer the strained juice back to a saucepan and combine with sugar. Heat to 190F while stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves. Ensure you do not boil the juice. Skim the foam and remove from heat. If you don’t plan to can, transfer to the fridge and when you are ready to serve, mix in a 1:1 ratio of water. If you have 5 cups of juice concentrate, add in 5 cups of water.
  • Pour hot lemonade concentrate into warm jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim with a vinegar moist cloth and place the lid on the jar. Place the ring on finger-tight.
  • Place in your canner and ensure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and can to 10 minutes (adjust time according to your altitude.)
  • Remove from canner and allow to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Test the lids and remove the rings.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword drink, rhubarb

Best Ways to Serve Rhubarb Lemonade

Serve your rhubarb lemonade over ice for a refreshing summertime treat. Remember to mix with a 1:1 ratio of water or dilute however you prefer. It's a great addition to summer barbecues, picnics, or just a relaxing afternoon on the porch. The cold ice enhances the refreshing nature of the drink, making it even more enjoyable. Don’t store in the fridge with ice for long periods of time because the ice will dilute the flavor.

Garnishing Ideas

To spice up your lemonade, add a slice of lemon, a sprig of mint, or a few fresh strawberries. You could make herb or fruit-infused ice cubes to add as a garnish. These garnishes not only make the drink look more appealing but also add a burst of freshness and flavor with every sip.

Variations of Rhubarb Lemonade

Rhubarb and Mint Lemonade

Mint adds a refreshing element to rhubarb lemonade. Take a few sprigs of mint and rub them between your balms to get the flavor to the surface of the leaves and add them to the bottom of the glass. You could also add mint to the pitcher to allow infusion of the minty flavor. The minty flavor pairs wonderfully with the tart rhubarb and citrus.

Storing Rhubarb Lemonade

Refrigeration Tips

Rhubarb lemonade concentrate can be store for up to 2 weeks in your fridge. It is best to store it in its concentrate form before diluting it with water. After diluting, you will want to consume it within a week.

Freezing Rhubarb Lemonade

You could also freeze the rhubarb lemonade concentrate in mason jars. Ensure you only fill to below the curve in glass, so the glass doesn’t break when the liquid expands. You could also pour into ice cube trays.

Rhubarb lemonade concentrate is a delicious and refreshing beverage for the summer and a wonderful addition to your food storage. With its unique flavor and variety of health benefits, it's a perfect drink or gift.

Whether you're hosting a summer party or just looking for a unique homestead-type gift, this rhubarb lemonade concentrate recipe is sure to bring a smile to someone’s face. So grab some fresh rhubarb and citrus, and start making your own homemade rhubarb lemonade today!


Can I use frozen rhubarb to make rhubarb lemonade?

Yes, frozen rhubarb can be used if fresh rhubarb is not available. Just thaw it before cooking. Frozen rhubarb retains its tart flavor and works just as well in this recipe. I often freeze a bunch of rhubarb from my garden that I can’t get processed.

How can I reduce the sugar content in my rhubarb lemonade?

You can use a natural sweetener like honey. Adjust the amount to taste. You can use whatever sweetener you prefer, but if you can it, just use granulated sugar.

Can I make rhubarb lemonade ahead of time?

Yes! Rhubarb lemonade concentrate can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

What other fruits can I add to rhubarb lemonade?

You can experiment with different fruits like raspberries, strawberries, or even mangos for a unique flavor. These fruits can add an extra layer of sweetness and complexity to the lemonade. I love to mix it up on my homestead.

Is rhubarb lemonade suitable for kids?

Yes, rhubarb lemonade is a great drink for kids. Just be sure to adjust the sweetness to their liking. It's a healthier alternative to sugary sodas that are loaded with food colorings and preservatives and a fun way to introduce them to new flavors.

A Deliciously Refreshing Recipe for Rhubarb Lemonade