STALK TALK: It's Rhubarb Season!

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on

Rhubarb is a tell-tale sign of spring. But what exactly is it? Rhubarb is a spring vegetable, one of the few that is still truly seasonal. The edible part of this perennial plant is the vibrant pink stalk, which is almost always cooked with lots of sugar because it is very sour. Raw rhubarb is quite sour, just as mouth-puckering as lemon. Eating raw rhubarb stalks is completely safe and we recommend trying a little slice the next time you’re cooking with it just to experience its purest flavour.

What rhubarb tastes like is really a question about what it tastes like when it’s cooked with sugar to make it palatable. Then, it tastes pleasantly tart - a bit like green apple - with a very tiny hint of vegetal celery flavour. Many people associate the flavour of rhubarb with strawberries because the two are often paired together (they come into season at the same time, and strawberry's sweet flavour helps counteract the sour one of rhubarb).


Red stalks have a stronger, sweeter more robust flavour than green stalks, but both are totally fine to cook with. Beyond dessert, there are many savoury uses for rhubarb. We’ve seen it a tagine in place of preserved lemon, as an ingredient in chutney or used in braises like short ribs. When rhubarb is in season, chefs have a hey day turning it into all sorts of creative dishes, including cocktails.

Here are some of our most popular rhubarb recipes from previous posts, but for a new twist, give our Rhubarb Whiskey Sour a try. 




Rhubarb Syrup:

Whiskey Sour:

  •  1 oz rhubarb syrup
  • 1 oz whisky or bourbon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
  • Ice cubes
  • Rhubarb ribbons and lemon slices


  1. Syrup: In a small saucepan, add water, rhubarb, honey, cardamom pods and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain syrup through a mesh sieve into a reusable jar. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  2. Cocktail: Combine rhubarb syrup, whiskey, lemon juice and crushed ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake, shake, shake. Strain over ice into a short glass. Garnish with rhubarb ribbons and lemon wheels.

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