Rhubarb Water

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On Sunday, I drove out to a little farm in Topsham. Beside the burdock growing for the goats, were rows of luminescent pink rhubarb hidden under overgrowing green leaves. I came home with an armful of the tart fregetable. (vruit?)* but didn’t feel like making a pie or crumble.

Instead, I brewed this Laura Calder recipe for a marvelous and refreshing pink drink. My only embellishment was making it fizzy, thanks to my awesome SodaStream. Serve it over crushed ice, with a strawberry garnish, and possibly, an artful splash of gin, for a Summer-In-The-Tropics-Cocktail. I’m calling it The Kipling. Take my advice, and distill this delightful beverage before rhubarb season ends. It’s fleeting!

Rhubarb Water


  • 2 lbs of rhubarb, cut into pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon


Pour boiling water over cut up rhubarb, cover with plastic and leave to steep on the kichten counter overnight. The next day, strain and discard rhubarb. Boil the liquid with sugar and lemon juice for five minutes. Chill and enjoy in the sunshine.

*”Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable however, in the United States, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties.”

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. OMG this is good! It’s almost like having my mom’s rhubarb pie in a glass. The colour is so pretty. I couldn’t just toss out all that cut up & soaked rhubarb so cooked it with a bit of water & sugar to taste then ate some of it warm over top ice cream, the rest I cooled & added into smoothies.

  2. I have a soda stream and was wondering the same thing. To just carbonate the water and add the above recipe seems to dilute the flavor a lot.

    I do make a simple syrup with rhubarb for a frozen rhubarb daiquiri recipe and have used the syrup with sparkling lemon spritzer. (about the same as a soda stream result)

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