Rhubarb and Rose Pressé

Ingredients & Method

To serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and line a roasting tin with non-stick baking paper.

Put the rhubarb slices in the prepared roasting tin, add the sugar, grenadine, water and rose petals and stir to mix, then spread the mixture out evenly. Roast (uncovered) in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir in the rosewater to taste. (The flavour of the rosewater will be strong when the mixture is hot, but it will become mellow and less concentrated as the mixture cools and the syrup is then chilled.)

Pass the rhubarb and rose mixture through a fine sieve, stir in the citric acid, then pour the syrup into a warm, sterilised bottle. Cover, seal and cool, then refrigerate until needed. Use the leftover rhubarb pulp as a ‘jam’ or spread – see Cook’s Note for serving suggestions.

The unopened bottle of pressé will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within a week. Alternatively, freeze the pressé in portions (in freezer bags) for up to 3 months, then defrost and use as required.

Rhubarb and Rose Lemonade (Serves 6)

Pour the chilled rhubarb and rose pressé over ice into 6 glasses, dividing it equally between each glass (you’ll need all of the 250ml pressé to make these drinks). Top up with chilled lemonade or still or sparkling water to taste, stir gently and serve. Finish the drinks with lemon slices, if you like. Enjoy!

Rhubarb and Rose Tonic (Serves 10)

This is my delicious play on the classic gin and tonic drink. Pour about 25ml chilled rhubarb and rose pressé over ice into 10 tumbler glasses. Add your choice of spirit (gin or vodka) to taste, then top up the drinks with chilled tonic water, stir and serve. I finish my cocktails with a few dried rose petals, but this is purely optional. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note

Spoon the leftover rhubarb pulp into a sterilised jar (it makes about 200g), then cover, store in the fridge and use within 3 days. Serve the pulp like a jam, spread on toast, or stir a spoonful into natural yogurt and serve with homemade granola. Alternatively, serve the rhubarb pulp with freshly baked scones and clotted cream.