29 June 2012

Rhubarb Cordial ... A Springtime Recipe for a Summertime Glass !

How easy is this ! The first of the rhubarb, some sugar, some orange zest, and water ... boil it up until the sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is soft and giving up its color and flavour. Dump the mix into a super clean jug that has a tight cover. Add some vodka and some white Zinfandel wine. Slosh it all about and screw on the lid. Cover the jar with a towel to keep out the light and put the jug aside in a dark, cool spot for a couple weeks. Slosh it around a bit every few days or when you think of it.

 After two weeks, strain the mixture to take out the macerated rhubarb and zest. It's amazing how the color of the rhubarb has just leached out of the fruit and into the booze. The cordial requires two strainings ... the second is done with a coffee filter placed in the fine strainer. It takes out the smallest fibers of the rhubarb and makes for a clear pink cordial.

I had to change the filter every second or third ladleful of cordial, as the pulp made for really really
s-l-o-w  d-r-i-p-p-i-n-g. In fact, I walked away and played computer games while I waited for the second filtration to be completed.

Once the filtering is done, just use a funnel to pour the cordial into a pretty bottle. Set the cordial aside to age for another week or so and then, make yourself a cool cordial spritzer on a hot day, add some cordial to some macerated raspberries and top some ice cream, or pour a sweet 'medicinal' glass as a restorative like those 'oh, so proper' Victorian ladies. Silent Bob says this cordial would be a nice addition to a fruit or custard pie filling ... hmmm, now there's an idea!

I'll let you know about that pie filling ... that is, if this cordial makes it past the spritzers that will be consumed during this next heatwave headed our way! Anyway, this project made for some fun on this hot sunny day!

I was so enamoured of this recipe because it made me think of the Anne of Green Gables episode in which  Anne Shirley gets her pal Diana sloshed on Marilla's 'raspberry cordial' ... we loved the whole Anne of Green Gables television production! We must have watched it a dozen times when the girls were in their early teens!

Rhubarb cordial ... a taste of a gentler time when people had just a small glass of spirits to whet their appetite or settle in for a nice conversation before tea. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Cordial
a Farmstead Chef recipe


4 c. fresh rhubarb, chopped
1 ½ c. water
3 c. sugar
1 tsp. orange zest
1 c. white Zinfandel wine
2 c. vodka

Making the Cordial:

1. Place the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest and water in a deep pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently until the mixture boils and the sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove from the heat, cover, and cool.

3. Add the wine and vodka and pour into a sterile covered jar or jug.

4. Seal the containetr, cover with a towel, and place in a dark cool spot for two weeks.

5. Swish the container every few days, but don't take the cover off the jug.

6. After two weeks, use a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter (or a bunch of them!) Strain out the rhubarb matter, Strain again to get any small particles.

7. Pour the cordial into a sterile bottle or carafe that has a tight-fitting cork or stopper.

8. Age in the container for another two weeks before serving.

Makes about 4 cups of cordial.


  1. Susan, this is so beautiful! The color is so appetizing and I bet the flavor is amazing!

  2. That is amazing! Great for entertaining and barbecues!

  3. I want to make this so badly. I love the color and can only imagine how tasty this is. You do the best things.

  4. Now that looks like its got my name all over it for 4th of July! Yup! Definitely :)

    Thanks Susan :)

    chow! DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors

  5. now this is beautiful... and I have some rhubarb in the freezer from when we last cropped the bush!... mind you, anything with vodka is the way forward right? I bet this would have been good with raspberries in there too!... then serve it with champagne... oooooh... now i'm on to something!

    1. Yes, Dom! I have a bottle of Prosecco chilling in the fridge, as we speak ... and it's hot and muggy and I am ready for that cold spritzer!

  6. Cordial always makes me think of Anne of Green Gables--there was a bit about Anne accidentally giving some to her best friend. I had no idea how to make it--great recipe!

  7. What a lovely idea! I used to enjoy a rhubarb soda from Meetinghouse Sodas in New Hampshire because they were so refreshing on a hot, summer day. I bet this would be the same way, maybe mixed with some club soda for bubbles? Drink enough, and you wouldn't care how hot it was outside! ;)

  8. Oh boy! This looks fantastic! Now I know what to do with all the rhubarb I have in the freezer from last summer!

    I'm imagining this mixed with a Perrier on the rocks too! Thanks for a great recipe!

    Also, thank you for your lovely comments on my post this a.m.!

  9. That looks absolutely delicious!


Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back.