Are you wondering what to do with extra rhubarb? Try making this rhubarb juice concentrate with honey, so you can quickly create a healthy, refreshing drink this summer! Freezing and canning instructions are included.
There are many different ways you can use rhubarb in the kitchen. Tender young stalks are excellent in pies, cakes and homemade jams. But as the summer progresses, you often find yourself with an overabundance of large, overgrown rhubarb stalks (please tell me I’m not the only one!).
When your plants reach this point, the stalks are usually too stringy for eating. But there is something else you can do with them!
Harvest these tough old stalks, extract the juices and create a simple rhubarb juice concentrate with honey, so you can whip out cold and refreshing summer drinks in a moment!
Rhubarb juice concentrate freezes beautifully. It also preserves well in the canner. And in this tutorial, I’ll walk you through both options.
But first, let me teach you how to juice your rhubarb.
How Extract Juice from Rhubarb
There are two different methods I use in my kitchen to extract rhubarb juice from stalks. The first requires a steam juicer (one of my fav tools!), while the second method only requires a stockpot and a cloth.
How to Juice Rhubarb in a Steam Juicer
I love my steam juicer! Not only is wonderful for creating a pure, nearly sediment-free fruit and berry juices, but it works really well for rhubarb too. When there’s juicing that needs to be done, the steam juicer is usually my first choice.
If you own a steam juicer, your owner’s manual should give you the appropriate processing time for all the fruits and also, rhubarb.
Interested in a steam juicer?
This model HERE is suitable for any type of stovetop (glass included).
Start creating pure, clean juice today!
To juice rhubarb in the steam juicer, follow the steps below.
- Harvest rhubarb, trimming off both the leaves and tough base.
- Rinse stalks well and cut to size, so they’ll fit in the steamer’s basket.
- Fill the base of your steam juicer with water, as directed for your model.
- Add rhubarb stalks to the basket and cover with the lid.
- Heat the steam juicer and gently steam the rhubarb for the length of time outline in your owner’s manual.
- If you want to collect extra liquid, turn off heat and let your rhubarb sit for 3-6 hours, giving extra juices time to drip through.
- Open the hose and release pure juice into a large jar or container.
- Sweeten and preserve for future use.
How to Juice Rhubarb on the Stove
If you don’t have a steam juicer and aren’t interested in getting one, you can extract juice from rhubarb in a stockpot. The flavor is less potent than the results you’ll get with a steam juicer, but it still makes a delicious concentrate!
Here’s how it works.
- Harvest your rhubarb, trimming away leaves and tough base.
- Bring inside and rinse at the kitchen sink.
- Set 8 cup of water on to boil.
- Dice rhubarb into 2-3 inch lengths and add to water all at once.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until pieces are soft.
- Let rhubarb cool until you can handle it without burning yourself.
- Line a bowl with a cotton cloth and pour the pot’s contents into it.
- Tie the 4 corners of the cloth together and hang the bundle where juices can drip into the bowl below.
- Let it sit for 2-4 hours, then refrigerate or preserve your rhubarb concentrate.
How to Naturally Sweeten Rhubarb Juice
On it’s own, rhubarb juice is too sour for sipping. You’ll want to add a bit of sweetener to your rhubarb juice concentrate. Natural options include:
- Other pure fruit juices (such as grape or apple)
- Real maple syrup
- Raw honey
- Any natural sweetener you use on a regular basis
If you plan to use honey or any other thick natural sweetener, be sure to measure and stir it in while the rhubarb juice is still warm, so things properly dissolve.
And if you forget? Don’t worry! You can always warm 1-2 cups of rhubarb juice in a stockpot, measure in your thick sweetener and stir until it has dissolved.
The rhubarb syrup you created should then be mixed back into the batch of cool rhubarb juice. And just like that, you’ve sweetened your rhubarb juice.
In the recipe printable down below, I give you specific directions on how to sweeten rhubarb juice concentrate with honey.
Tips for Serving Fresh Rhubarb Juice Concentrate
I know I promised to teach you how to preserve your rhubarb juice concentrate! But there will be occasions when you’ll want to make a batch, refrigerate and serve it fresh.
There’s no shame in that! Just remember to add honey to your rhubarb juice concentrate while it’s still warm.
And then, you can mix half water with half concentrate before serving. Or, you can fill a glass 2/3 full of ice and pour the rhubarb juice concentrate over it.
The Best Ways to Preserve Rhubarb Juice
There are two methods I recommend for preserving your rhubarb juice concentrate. You can 1) freeze it or 2) quickly process it in the waterbath canner.
Both methods are relatively quick and will give you excellent results!
How to Freeze Rhubarb Juice Concentrate
Before freezing your rhubarb concentrate, you need to consider how you’re going to use it this summer. Do you want to create drinks in individual cups or glasses? Or will you be making this rhubarb drink in big batches?
If you plan to make it glass by glass, small ice cube trays are an excellent choice for freezing your concentrate.
However, if you want to make larger batches, you’ll want to freeze the concentrate in larger molds. Here are some silicone molding options for freezing your rhubarb juice concentrate.
To freeze, pour your sweetened rhubarb juice into molds and immediately pop them into the freezer. Once they’re solid, remove and quickly bag your cubes, being sure to label and return them to the freezer.
To create a drink, simply fill your glass or pitcher 2/3 of the way with rhubarb concentrate cubes. Cover the cubes with water and let sit for several minutes before serving.
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Directions for Canning Rhubarb Juice Concentrate
While I enjoy preserving food (and drinks) in the freezer, I also enjoy canning them up too!
When you go to serve home canned rhubarb juice concentrate, fill the glass (or pitcher) 2/3 of the way with ice. All you have to do is pour your canned juice over the ice and let everything sit for several minutes. Serve.
Ready to do some canning? Here are step by step directions for you!
- Heat sweetened rhubarb juice concentrate to a near-boiling point, but don’t actually boil (it might bubble over).
- Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- Tighten lids and bands into place.
- Process in your water bath canner according to jars size and elevation
- pints: 10 minutes at 0-1,000 ft elevation
- quarts: 15 minutes at 0-1,000 ft elevation
- half gallon: 20 minutes at 0-1,000 ft elevation
Rhubarb Juice Concentrate with Honey
- 12 quart stockpot
- 1 long handled mixing spoon
- 1 large cotton straining cloth
- 1 large bowl
- 30 cups rhubarb, cut to 2-3 inch lengths
- 8 cups filtered water
- 2 cups raw honey
- Harvest rhubarb stalks in the morning
- Using a knife, remove fan shaped leaves and the base of each stalk
- Bring indoors and rinse clean at the kitchen sink
- Measure 8 C water into a large, 12 quart (3 gallon) stockpot
- Cover your pot with a lid and set to boil on the stovetop
- Slice rinsed rhubarb stalks into 2-3 inch lengths
- Place pieces into a large measuring bowl (aka batter bowl), dumping into the pot when full.
- Measure out 30 cups of 2-3 inch pieces in total
- Once you have 30 cups, put a lid on the stockpot and turn heat to high
- When your water starts simmering, set the timer for 10 minutes
- Cook rhubarb until it softens and falls apart
- Pull your stockpot from the heat and cool until you can handle the contents without burning yourself
- Line a large bowl with a cotton cloth
- Pour the cooked rhubarb and liquid into the cloth
- Gather the 4 corners of your filled cloth and tightly knot together
- Hang the cloth bag for 2-4 hours or until juices stop dripping into the bowl below
- When finished, you should have about 4 quarts of juice concentrate
- Pour your rhubarb juice concentrate into a clean pot and heat to the near-boiling point without letting it actually boil
- Measure in honey and stir to dissolve
- To serve fresh: dilute rhubarb concentrate half n' half with water, or fill a glass 2/3 with ice and pour juice over. Serve.
- How to freeze: pour rhubarb juice concentrate into molds. Freeze until solid. Quickly remove from molds, bag, label and return to freezer. To serve: fill glass or pitcher 2/3 of the way with cubes. Cover with water and let sit several minutes before serving.
- How to water bath can: Ladle near-boiling rhubarb juice into jars, wipe rims, add lids and immediately place in boiling water bath canner.Process pints (500 ml) 10 minutes at 0-1,000 ft. Process quarts (1 litre) 15 minutes at 0-1,000 ft in elevation. Process half gallon for 20 min at 0-1000 ftTo serve: fill glass or pitched 2/3 with ice. Pour rhubarb juice concentrate over and let sit several minutes before serving.