Rhubarb and Ginger Spritzer

There’s a big misconception out there that we don’t have real seasons in Hawaii.  Sure, we have temperatures in the low 80s year round, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) ways to tell that spring has arrived.

The days are longer and drier.  Monster surf on the North Shore winds down while the South Shore season begins to heat up.  And then there are the clues at the markets: asparagus season is in full swing, with the green stalks monopolizing a large portion of the produce section.  As much as I love asparagus, I’m even happier to see fresh rhubarb, which makes its very brief and limited appearance about this time every year.  If you see it on the shelves, you’ve got to grab it; you never know whether it’ll be around the next time you go.

Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve been good at taking advantage of both the longer and the rhubarb.  First up?  A nice hike and beach day over on the Windward side.  Of course when I pulled my SLR out of my bag for photos I realized I’d left my CF card in my media reader.  Boo on that.  And then my battery died on my point and shoot after only a couple shots.  Boo again.

I promise I’ll head back in the not-too-distant future and make a mental note to check both cards and batteries before I head out the door.  Luckily my SLR was back in business for rhubarb and ginger syrup.

Fresh rhubarb and ginger is simmered with sugar and water, creating a pleasantly tart and sweet, rose-colored syrup.  You also end up with a delicious byproduct: soft, sweetened rhubarb.  I spooned some over some Greek yogurt and topped with pistachios for an easy breakfast that felt extra special.

When added to sparkling water, the syrup created a delicate pink non-alcoholic spritzer, perfect for a summer get-together or baby shower.  It can also be easily incorporated into some of your favorite boozy drinks- stay tuned for one idea tomorrow…


Rhubarb and Ginger Spritzer


Rhubarb and Ginger Syrup:
* 4 stalks fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
* 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
* 3 cups sugar
* 2 cups water

* Sparkling water


Combine the rhubarb, ginger, sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the rhubarb is soft. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.

Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bottle. Chill syrup completely.

Combine sparkling water with syrup to taste. Serve over ice.

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7 Responses to “Rhubarb and Ginger Spritzer”

  1. #
    Barbara — May 1, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Your post has reminded me to plant some rhubarb this year! I've never had a rhubarb flavored drink but the pink color is so pretty. It's the rhubarb custard pie that I LOVE!


    • CATE — May 1st, 2012 @ 3:34 am

      Just be careful with that crazy dog of yours… I hear rhubarb leaves are poisonous :)


  2. #
    Sarah — May 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Rhubarb is so expensive in the grocery store, but so cheap and easy to grow if you have some land. I always regret apartment living during rhubarb season. I remember, as a child, we would take a tupperware container of brown sugar to the rhubarb plant and eat rhubarb dipped in brown sugar until we were sick!


    • CATE — May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:03 am

      Yowza! I've actually never had it raw. Maybe I'll have to try it if I can find some more at the grocery store.

      My grandmother (who regrettably lives very far from me) has some in her yard. If I happen to visit during rhubarb season I try to make rhubarb desserts pretty much every day! Having a yard to have rhubarb would be awesome… although I'm actually not sure whether it would like Hawaii weather. I guess I'll have to research :)


  3. #
    Mrs. Gregorton — May 4, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I love that this recipes makes two things!


  4. #
    Dawn Thompson — May 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    How long do you think this syrup would last in the fridge? or can I freeze it? I would love to make a double batch to be able to pull out in the fall.


    • Cate — October 4th, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

      Gah- so sorry for not responding earlier Dawn. Took a loooong blog break. It’s obviously past rhubarb season, but I don’t think the syrup would last more than a couple weeks, even in the fridge. Never tried freezing it, but you may be better off freezing the fruit (or buying frozen fruit) and making another batch in the fall. Good luck!


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