Next to asparagus, rhubarb is that herald of springtime you'll see now in gardens, the farmers markets and stores. The beautiful red stalks shoot up out of the earth with the sole purpose of providing us with wonderful desserts, chutneys and barbecue sauces....at least I believe that to be true!
- In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine rhubarb and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until rhubarb is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Line a large sieve with a couple of layers of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the contents of the saucepan into the sieve and let drip, undisturbed for at least 2 hours.
- Once all the juice has collected in the bowl, transfer the juice to a large, clean stainless steel saucepan and combine the rhubarb juice with the sugar. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil. Remove from heat and skim off the foam.
- To reconstitute, mix one part concentrate with one part water, tonic water, ginger ale, or club soda; adjust to suit your taste!
If you are a home preserver like myself, then prepare 4 pint jars (500mL) in your canner and then ladle the hot concentrate into the jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rim, centre lid on the jar and screw the band down until finger tight. Place jars in canner,ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil, and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 mins, then remove the jars. Cool and store for delicious rhubarb juice all year round!!!