This is one of those deceptively simple recipes, passed down through friends of friends, that everyone adores. Once chilled, the juice is brisk and refreshing. Since rhubarb is quite tart, you may be surprised that there's no added sugar in this recipe. I was skeptical at first, too, but it really works. Once strained and chilled, the juice has a mixture of tartness and sweetness that resembles homemade lemonade.
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- Yield:Makes 2 quarts
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:4 hours (includes chilling)
- 2 pounds rhubarb stalks
- 8 cups water
Slice the rhubarb stalks crosswise into one-inch segments. Place rhubarb segments into the pot along with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher or spouted bowl, pressing on the solids in the strainer to extract as much juice as possible. You can line the strainer with cheesecloth if you like, but it's not necessary.
After 20 minutes, the juice will separate, leaving a yellowish sludge at the bottom. Decant the clear pink liquid into a clean bottle or pitcher, leaving the sludge behind. Chill for a few hours at least, and serve cold over ice.