Growing up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I am no stranger to rhubarb. I have wonderful memories from both my mom and my Gram of cutting stalks from the plants and going inside to dip the end in sugar and crunch into it.
Here in South Texas, I am still working at growing rhubarb of my own. Three years ago I brought transplants from my mom’s garden in Minnesota. They came up, then quickly lost energy. Our summers are just to hot, but since then I have learned that I can grow it as an annual here. So, last fall I planted four plants that I happened to stumble across at a locally owned nursery. We had a very mild winter, but I was sure to cover them on the nights we had frost. Long story short… they didn’t make it. I did everything I could, but the ants built nests in the heart of each plant and by the time I noticed it, they were doomed.
Mom to the rescue. When my mom got back to Minnesota this spring she wanted to try to mail some cut rhubarb to me. She cut fresh rhubarb stalks on Monday, packed it into a UPSP Priority box and shipped it off to me. It arrived on Thursday; safe and sound. By Saturday afternoon I was sipping on a cool Rhubarb Fizz.
Many of you are in areas that are still enjoying the bounty from your rhubarb plants. Making Rhubarb Fizz is one more recipe to add to you recipe box and a great refreshing way to enjoy rhubarb!
I did not create this recipe, I found over at Savor-the-Rhubarb. Head over there for other great rhubarb recipes and a wealth of other great “rhubarb” information and uses.
Rhubarb Fizz (Non-alcoholic Rhubarb Champagne)
4 cups finely chopped rhubarb
4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 lemon finely sliced
25 cups water
Combine all ingredients and let stand in a pail for at least 2 full days.
Strain out fruit and residue and bottle.
Store in the refrigerator.
We keep our house pretty warm in the summer (around 80F) and even with the little bit of vinegar in the above receipt, it is not enough to keep mold from starting to form on the top of the mixture. I tend to keep an eye on it and strain it after 1 ½ days to be on the safe side.
This is meant to be consumed reasonably soon, as the mixture could become quite pressurized over too much time.
The color of our Rhubarb Fizz will vary depending on the color that comes out of your rhubarb. I have made this where it turns out a deep pink color and other times it is on the pale side. The darker shade seems to have a deeper flavor and a bit more tartness to it while the batch I made with my mom’s spring rhubarb was very light in color and had a very light flavor. Both are very good.
The first time I made this I saved the rhubarb from the mixture and used it to bake a cake. Aaaahhhh, that didn’t go so well. The lemon in the mixture really didn’t help the flavor of the cake at all. My thoughts were that it was coming out of a mixture that was so so good, wouldn’t the left over rhubarb be good in a cake. Nope! Lesson learned. It was more useful out in the compost.
If you have a hard time keeping up with the ever-growing rhubarb plants, be sure to chop and put some in the freezer for using later. When ever I take a trip to visit my mom I come home with as much rhubarb as I can fit in my suitcase so I can stash it in my freezer (in 4 cup measurements) and make more rhubarb fizz.
If you have access to any rhubarb at all you should really give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.