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Homemade Rhubarb Syrup

5 from 2 votes

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If you’re a fan of rhubarb, you’ll love this recipe for homemade rhubarb syrup! Make it in 25 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You’ll love using it to add fresh rhubarb flavor to all of your favorite recipes!

A small bottle of homemade rhubarb syrup on a wooden board.

Easy syrup made with fresh rhubarb

I love fresh rhubarb, but I hate that it’s only available for such a short period of time every spring.

That’s what makes this recipe so special. It’s a great way to bottle up all of that sweet-tart flavor so you can use it all summer long. 

Since I make this syrup myself, I also know exactly what goes in it. No preservatives, no artificial flavors or colors—just fresh rhubarb and sugar.

Bottle up your homemade syrup for gifts or keep it for yourself! A little goes a long way when you’re adding it to recipes, so you’ll get lots of use out of this homemade treat.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • Simple to make with just 3 ingredients: rhubarb, sugar, and water.
  • Keeps well in the fridge or freezer, so you can bottle the flavor of fresh rhubarb to use all summer
  • Versatile: use it to make cocktails and Italian sodas, or drizzle it onto pancakes or waffles or into yogurt.
A pile of fresh rhubarb on a marble counter.

Ingredients needed to make rhubarb simple syrup

Fresh or frozen rhubarb:

For the best flavor, choose stalks that are long and thin, with vibrant red color.

Sugar and Water:

This recipe is essentially a flavored simple syrup, made with equal parts sugar and water. White sugar will result in the purest rhubarb flavor, but you can use honey or even a sugar substitute like Swerve if you prefer.

A wooden cutting board with chopped rhubarb.
Adding sugar and water to a pot of rhubarb.
Boiling rhubarb in sugar water to make syrup.

How to make rhubarb syrup

Start by chopping your rhubarb into small pieces to create more surface area. This will help extract more flavor and color than if you were to leave the stalks whole.

Combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar, and water, in a saucepan.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The liquid will be vibrant and the solids have collapsed onto themselves.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer to separate the solids from the syrup. If you prefer a thicker syrup, return the strained liquid to the saucepan and continue to cook, uncovered, until it reduces by 1/3 to 1/2.

Homemade Rhubarb Syrup (Video)


Is rhubarb safe to eat?

You may have heard that rhubarb is poisonous. The leaves do contain some compounds (oxalic acids) that can be toxic to both humans and animals, but the stalks are perfectly safe to eat.

According to National Geographic, the amount of oxalic acid in the leaves is so low that it doesn’t pose much of a threat so there isn’t much to worry about.

What does rhubarb taste like?

Rhubarb is tart, with a slightly floral flavor. It’s often paired with a sweet fruit like strawberries or blueberries to take away some of its bitterness.

Rhubarb can be eaten raw, but it’s VERY bitter on its own so I don’t recommend it. You’ll almost always see rhubarb recipes that include cooking it down with plenty of sugar like this one.

When is rhubarb in season?

Rhubarb is a Spring vegetable that starts popping up in late April and hits its peak around June.

Can I scale this recipe up or down?

Yes, absolutely! This recipe is so simple to scale up or down, so you can make as much as you want (or as much as you’re able to with the amount of rhubarb that you have).

It follows a simple ratio of 2 parts chopped rhubarb to 1 part each sugar and water.

So, for example, if you have 1 cup of rhubarb, you’d combine that with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. 

Or, if you have 10 cups of rhubarb, you could combine it with 5 cups of water and 5 cups of sugar.

How do I store this rhubarb syrup?

To keep in the fridge: Pour the syrup into a glass bottle with a lid and refrigerate it for up to 3 weeks. I love these cute little swing-top bottles!

To freeze: For longer storage, you can also freeze this syrup in 

What are some ways to use this syrup?

There are so many ways to enjoy this syrup!

Cocktails like a rhubarb sour or spritz

Use it to flavor lemonade, seltzer, or club soda

Swirl into yogurt

Drizzle over ice cream

Use instead of pancake syrup on your favorite breakfast treats

I can’t wait to hear how you use it, so be sure to leave a comment with your favorite ideas.

What should I do with the solids that are left behind?

Keep them! This rhubarb compote is delicious. It’s very sweet, so a little goes a long way, but it’s amazing in plain yogurt or over vanilla ice cream. You can also use it in place of applesauce or make a quick bread like this applesauce bread.

Ingredients for making a cocktail with homemade rhubarb syrup.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

All it takes is a half hour and you can bottle the flavor of Spring rhubarb to enjoy all summer long!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Staples
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 96 kcal


  • 3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water


  • Add the rhubarb, sugar, and water to a small saucepan. Stir well to help the sugar dissolve.
  • Bring to a simmer. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is very soft and the liquid is vibrant red and reduced by about 1/3.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer to seperate the solids from the syrup.
  • Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.


Serving: 1ounceCalories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 25gFat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 25gCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Love this recipe?Mention @TheBusyFoodieLauren or tag #busyfoodie!
By on May 26th, 2022

Hi, I'm Lauren!

I love to cook -- but even more importantly, I really like to eat! I have a demanding day job that keeps me busy, so time is precious. I'm a culinary school graduate and five-time cookbook author who's all about finding ways to make delicious, restaurant-quality meals at home on a tight schedule. Read more...

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