Homemade rhubarb soda hydrates, quenches, and refreshes with a flavor you can’t get anywhere else but in your own kitchen.
I’m pretty sure the word refreshing was invented to describe rhubarb soda. Just imagine the sweet tart flavor of spring rhubarb all cold and fizzy, over ice. Thirsty yet? I hope so because you’re going to love this.
Sugary soda consumption is a significant public health concern here in the US, and the problem is so bad some cities have come up with a soda tax as a way to deter people from buying it. Fruit juice isn’t much better! So making your own healthy hydration isn’t only delicious, it’s smart. If you have kids, it’s a must. And while this soda does contain added sugar to balance the tart rhubarb, most homemade fruit soda can be made without adding any extra sugar. For this one you can use alternative sugars, or honey as well. You’re in the driver’s seat.
what you’ll need for rhubarb soda
Basically you’ll make a rhubarb simple syrup that will be mixed with carbonated water.
- you can use fresh or frozen fruit for this homemade soda recipe.
- you will need some sort of sweetener to tame rhubarb’s famously tart flavor. Use sugar, honey, or sugar substitute of your choice.
- you’ll need regular filtered water to make the syrup, and fizzy water to finish it off.
how to make rhubarb soda
step 1. first make a rhubarb syrup
Put chopped rhubarb with sugar in a non-reactive pot. (Rhubarb is acidic and reactive pots can interact with the acid in the rhubarb, affecting the taste and color of the final dish. Reactive pots are usually made of materials like aluminum, copper, and cast iron. Use a non-reactive pot made of stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or enameled cast iron like I’m using.)
step 2. add water
Add water and stir to combine.
step 3. cook mixture until soft
Bring to a boil, then boil gently for about 8 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely soft.
step 4. let the mixture cool
Let the pot cool for at least 15 minutes. This will encourage every last bit of flavor to leach out of the rhubarb.
step 5. strain & chill
Strain through a jelly bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer. Push down gently to get as much liquid through as you can. Then chill the syrup completely before using to make your rhubarb soda.
step 6. add (chilled) sparkling water
Mix the chilled syrup with chilled sparkling water to make rhubarb soda. For this recipe I use a 2:1 ratio of sparkling water to syrup. Tip: don’t mix the syrup and sparkling water together until you are ready to enjoy.
rhubarb soda tips and variations
You can add flavor to the rhubarb pulp while it’s simmering: add a vanilla bean, sliced open, a whole star anise, crushed cardamom pods, or a cinnamon stick. Fresh ginger goes great with rhubarb, too, so add a few slices to your pot.
Add a little lemon or lime juice if your rhubarb syrup tastes a bit too sweet for you.
Make rhubarb lemonade with your rhubarb syrup. Just add it to your homemade lemonade.
Intensify the syrup for cocktails; boil the strained liquid down further to thicken and intensify.
Make a super low calorie version of flavored ‘sparkling water’ by reducing the amount of syrup you use for each drink to just a tablespoon or two.
Spike your rhubarb soda with gin, vodka or rum for a spring cocktail.
- 1 lb fresh rhubarb, trimmed and sliced*
- 1/2 cup sugar, or your favorite sugar substitute (adjust the amount according to the package instructions)
- 3 cups water
- sparkling water
- Put the rhubarb and sugar in a non-reactive pot. Add the water and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and boil gently for about 8 minutes. The rhubarb will have given up its color and flavor and will be very soft.
- Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, a jelly bag, or cheesecloth. Push gently to get as much of the juice out as you can.
- Refrigerate the rhubarb syrup until you are ready to make soda.
to make rhubarb soda
- Add about 1/3 cup of your chilled syrup to a glass. Top off with 2/3 cup carbonated water. Add ice and enjoy!