spring celebration – rhubarb syrup, jam and margarita

spring celebration – rhubarb syrup, jam and margarita

Rhubarb may be a sign of Spring, but it’s too bad that its season doesn’t match up with its perfect mate—the strawberry. Strawberries always catch the tail of rhubarb time, so it takes some creative intervention using just one primary ingredient until then. Usually every year, I await the first sighting of rhubarb at the Farmer’s Market to make desserts. This year, I thought of taking a simpler, different route—not one dish but a couple of kitchen chameleons that could be used in multiple ways–Rhubarb Syrup and then Ginger-Rhubarb Jam. Both are done in a few easy steps.

A fantastic rhubarb usage is in cocktails. Imagine a pitcher of vibrant Spring Tulip colored Rhubarb Margaritas for this Memorable Day or any festive occasions. It’s even a reason to re-celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I know I have a hit when one of my tweeps asked for the recipe, and she turned her kitchen into a “Meth Lab” for Rhubarb Syrup, so she could offer many servings of Rhubarb Margaritas. Try it but don’t blame me for getting you addicted and ‘becoming a monster” (her words).

Ginger Rhubarb Jam can be used as a simple condiment or as a filling for cookies and cakes. I have to admit, it’s not the prettiest looking jam you’ll ever see, but when the unique tartness of rhubarb bursts in your mouth, you know Spring has arrived. I made a big batch last week, and boy did M love it.

Rhubarita - Rhubarb Margarita


Rhubarb Syrup

makes 1-1/2 quarts

  • 1 pound rhubarb, about 3-1/2 − 4 cups, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
Ginger Rhubarb Jam

makes 2 cups

  • Rhubarb Solids (leftover from Rhubarb Syrup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated or chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Rhubarita – Rhubarb Margarita

makes 2 generous thirst quenching cocktails

  • 1/4 cups lime juice, freshly squeezed (about 2 limes, you will get more juice if you zap them in the microwave for 10 sec.)
  • 1/2 cups Rhubarb Syrup
  • 4 ounces good quality tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec or Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups ice cubes


Rhubarb Syrup

1. Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and cooked till rhubarb has soften and liquid turns into a rosy color. Set aside to cool completely. Strain and reserve solids. The syrup can be use in Rhubarb Sparkling Soda, Rhubarb Margaritas (recipe to follow), drizzled over strawberries or ice cream or both. Rhubarb Syrup + your imagination, you are guaranteed to have a delicious result.

Ginger Rhubarb Jam

1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1-1/2 tablespoons water. Set aside.

2. Combine rhubarb solids, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir occasionally until juices have thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Adjust sweetness as desired.

3. Remove from heat and add gelatin and vanilla to the rhubarb mixture. Stir to combine until gelatin is completely incorporated. Let cool at room temperature.

Recipe Note: The sweetness of the jam will lessen once it’s chilled. The taste of ginger might seem strong when it is freshly made and still warm. Let cooled and stored in container overnight, the ginger will fade to the background.

Rhubarita – Rhubarb Margarita

1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well until slightly frothy.

2. Pour through a strainer into a glass (Salt Rimmed optional). Enjoy and let the good times roll!