Rhubarb and Rosewater

I’ve had a lovely relaxing day as Alfie has been on a holiday program at Taronga Zoo and Arabella has been studying and Archie has been at Uni.  That means I’ve had the house all to myself and it’s been a cherished day of time to myself and meandering around without being interrupted.

Strife did pound through the door though when both Virgin Mobile and Vodafone cut Archie and Arabella from their mobile phones.  Apparently I hadn’t paid their bills.  I hadn’t paid their bills because they were four times over their monthly limit.  There were a lot of vocal phone calls between me and the teenagers and the phone providers but after a morning lost, the phones were re-connected.

Rhubarb and Rosewater Sherbets

While arguing with overseas telemarketers and wondering if I’d lost my ability to understand English, I thought I’d share the rhubarb and rosewater ‘mocktail’ recipe I served at Arabella’s birthday party.

This is a fabulous, festive and refreshing drink that’s so pretty to look at and will add a sparkle to your next party.

I was first exposed to this drink at a Hen’s Party where this was served as the non-alcoholic beverage of choice.  It was so pretty it stuck in my mind and so when Arabella’s 18th clocked around and we knew the occasion wouldn’t pass without a party, I contacted my friend and asked for the recipe.

The best mocktail

Rhubarb and Rosewater Sherbet (Sharbat-e Reevas)

Makes:  250mls

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  While rhubarb is in season this is an inexpensive syrup to make and a little, goes a long way!

  • 500 gm rhubarb, roughly chopped
  • 400 gm sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • Soda water to serve
  • Dried rose petals (optional) to serve

Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a large heavy-based saucepan and macerate for 1.5 hours.

Add 1 cup (250ml) water and bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Increase the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Strain through a piece of muslin or clean Chux, then return the strained juice to the pan and add the lime juice.  Boil until the syrup is thick (10-15 minutes).  Remove from the heat and cool.  Stir in the rosewater and transfer to a sterilised bottle, then seal and store in a cool place.  Syrup will keep for 3 months.

To serve, mix 1 cm syrup with chilled water or soda water.  Top with ice, garnish with rose petals, if using, and serve.

(And serve with straws as the rose petals will stick to glossy lips!)

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  1. This will teach me to wear my glasses when I’m online. I saw this photo and I thought those petals where edible gold 🙂

  2. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    This is a beautiful drink. Now, if only I could get the rhubarb to grow that I planted about three years ago. Usually rhubarb thrives anywhere so I cannot figure out the problem.

    As for the phone use overage, I’d not pay the bill either.

  3. thelifeofclare says:

    The drinks pols delicious and so pretty! I’ve had a couple of bills like that, I just suck it up and pay them, but I made the calls. Yours is a tough situation!

  4. Gorgeous looking drink and sounds delicious! I don’t drink alcohol so this recipe is perfect for me 🙂

  5. Wow … rhurbarb as a drink … who would have thunk it? 🙂 Well done!

  6. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    What a pretty drink.

    Every month I am floored by how much our cell phone bill is. The cable/internet bill is another killer, but I did call and get that one lowered when they kept offering new customers great deals. What about us old customers?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      One thing I’ve refused to get is pay TV. As much as my kids have kicked and bucked against this, I just refuse to pay over $100/mth for a whole lot of garbage I don’t have time to watch anyway. That’s my effort in terms of economising!

  7. Every time I think about getting a cell phone I remind myself that I don’t NEED one and I remind myself of the lack of common sense I see by the majority of cell phone users extant.

    Even though it’s ILLEGAL, they drive while talking on their cell phones, they walk down the street while talking on their cell phones, they shop while talking on their cell phones. (shakes head)

    And it’s pricey.


    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’d love to go back in time to when no one had a mobile phone. Life was better mostly because we were so less interrupted.

  8. Oh rosewater! I used to hide from it, and now I want to bathe in it.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      It does grow on you, doesn’t it. I’ve been using it in quite a few recipes this year. And it is lovely in these cocktails.

  9. Gretchen O'Donnell says:

    These sound fabulous! I can’t find rosewater easily in the US BUT…I found some in Canada last year so I bought two bottles…and promptly broke one on my way out of the store. But at least the other survived the return flight!!

  10. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Not only is this fabulous to look at, I can almost taste it as I read over the recipe. I don’t have much experience with rhubarb as I have never lived where it was available–either that or I didn’t know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      That’s a shame Victoria, because rhubarb is a great fruit and it’s so readily available here. It’s lovely stewed for breakfast or put in pies and tarts.

  11. kitchenriffs says:

    Wow, such a great looking mocktail! Love the flavors, and it has such nice color. Thanks for this.

  12. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    Never had rosewater but will have to try!! I love these cute straws by the way…where did you get them??

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Ashley, I bought the straws at a kitchenware shop called Accoutrement in Mosman. You can buy them in party shops as well.

  13. Great mocktail recipe, Charlie … They’re beautiful 🙂

  14. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Yay, I was hoping you would share this lovely recipe, thank you.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  15. yummychunklet says:

    What a tasty non-alcoholic option I’ll have to serve at my next party!

  16. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    So pretty Charlie! I love the rose petals on top, where did you get them?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Claire, I bought the rose petals at Accoutrement in Mosman. I’m sure you’d be able to find them at any good kitchenware shop.

  17. Ohhh what a great drink to have at parties! And i love the straws that you bought hehe I’ve actually never thought of making a drink with rhubarb hehe because I just think of rhubarb puree or pies but never a drink 🙂 Great idea though xx

  18. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for sharing such a gorgeous recipe Charlie, but if you aren’t just turning eighteen mocktails are for wusses! I shall enjoy my syrup over ice with a crisp white, or perhaps a touch of gin 🙂 Care to join me?

  19. I have many friend’s who don’t embibe do this is perfect. Thanks
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  20. How gorgeous is this! So glad you had a nice and quiet day. 🙂

  21. mjskit @ mjskitchen.com says:

    I made my first rhubarb simple syrup this summer and loved it. Which I had had some rosewater! That sound like a wonderful complement to rhubarb. This is a great drink and one that would go down way too easy! 🙂

  22. Juliet Batten says:

    The recipe looks really inviting, thank you. And so glad to hear that you’ve had some (relative) peace. The phone cut-offs is probably good feedback for the teens about what happens when they go over the limit. Nothing wrong with a bit a a reality check!

  23. Juliet Batten says:

    The recipe looks really inviting, thank you. And so glad to hear that you’ve had some (relative) peace. The phone cut-offs is probably good feedback for the teens about what happens when they go over the limit. Nothing wrong with a bit a a reality check!

  24. this looks beautiful! I’ll have to remember this recipe!

  25. Glad you finally had a little peace and quiet, Charlie, even if you had the phone company to deal with. This cocktail does look like a good one, although I’m no fan of rhubarb. Never tried it in a cocktail, though. This cule convert me. If not, I’ll just keep adding vodka until I see the light. 🙂

    • hotlyspiced says:

      You should give it a try. If you don’t like the rhubarb flavour just add more rosewater which is definitely the stronger flavour. Failing that, reach for your bottle of vodka!

  26. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    Aw thats good to hear 🙂 Love rubuarb!

  27. Don’t you just love quiet and relaxing days? I’ve never had a rhubarb cocktail before….looks super refreshing! 🙂

  28. The mocktail recipe is quite unusual. It sounds refreshing and it is visually beautiful! I hope you enjoyed the rest of your day after battling with the phone providers. You don’t get time to yourself too often from what I can tell! 🙂

  29. It looks fabulous and so refreshing, perfect for the summer months coming up!

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