I had a few extra minutes in the kitchen this afternoon so I made some Rhubarb Simple Syrup. I recently processed 35 pounds of rhubarb using my Mehu-Liisa steam juicer and have quite a few quarts on hand to have fun with.
I used 2 cups of the unsweetened rhubarb juice and 2 cups of sugar. I combined the juice and sugar in a sauce pan set on medium high heat.
After bringing the syrup to a boil, I simmered on medium low heat (watch out for boil overs!!) for approx. 5 minutes.
This will help keep the syrup from crystallizing if kept for a long time. Add a tablespoon or two of fresh lemon juice to help retain color. After 5 mins. of simmering, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool for 15 mins.
During this time, a pinkish scum will form on the top of the syrup.
After the cooling period, skim this scum off the syrup. Place a funnel in your bottle (you can get very creative with your selection of bottles) and carefully pour the syrup from the pan.
A refreshing Rhubarb Seltzer can be made using this syrup and bubbly water of choice, anything from soda water or mineral water to tonic water can be used in this drink.
I use a ratio of 2TB per 10 oz. of bubbly. The addition of some choice spirits and a little citrus juice will make this a Fizz. In this case, you may want to use 2 times the amount of syrup in the bubbly water and 1 oz. of spirit.
With chronically thirsty teens on my hands, this syrup is a very economical way to keep a “soda” beverage on hand. The kids can make up a batch themselves and have it on hand for an afternoon or evening.
Here’s the math:
- 8 qts of juice from 24 lbs of rhubarb at $.63/lb: (24 X .63)/8=$1.89 per quart
- 2 pints of syrup can be made from 1 qt of juice: $.95 per pint of juice
- 2 cups of sugar per pint of syrup at $.90/lb = $.90 (2 cps. = 1 lb)
- 1 pint of syrup = $.90 + .95 = $1.85
- Half gallon of seltzer = $1.89/64 oz. = $.03 oz. so 10 oz. . glass = $.30
- 2 Tablespoons of syrup = 1 oz. of syrup = $1.85/16 = $.12
- So, one 10 oz. glass of Rhubarb Seltzer = $.30 + .12 = $.42
Even though this is close to the price of a can of natural soda bought in a market, don’t forget all the benefits of making things at home:
- You control the quality of the ingredients.
- When you buy local, and/or u-pick, you support your local economy and involve your kids directly in the procurement of their food.
- Packaging is minimal and re-useable, virtually no waste. Even the dome and band lids can be re-purposed.
- Your children will become familiarized with the concepts of economy and self-sufficiency on a practical level.
- It’s FUN to do and Dang Tasty!
Well, go ahead and try this out and let me know how it goes. I’d be interested in hearing any variations. Just think, the Strawberries will be ready soon!
Take Care – Daniel