Rhubarb Syrup Recipe (Sharbat-e Rivas), Homemade Cordial

Rhubarb Syrup makes for a refreshing and cooling drink on a hot summer’s day. It is sweet like a cordial but is also a touch sour.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Rhubarb Syrup in small glasses on white background
Rhubarb Syrup

What is Forced Rhubarb?

Here in the UK, our rhubarb season starts early, in January, with the first crop that we call forced rhubarb.

Forced rhubarb is just as delicious as its outdoor counterpart, but tends to be less red and is a little more sour. Essentially the tips are covered by soil to stop them getting any sunlight. This forces them to keep reaching up (growing), looking for light. They are harvested when they are about 30cm (1 foot) long.

By around late April though, we start getting the pinker and slightly more sweet summer rhubarb., which are just perfect for today’s rhubarb syrup.

Rhubarb Syrup, Sharbat e Rivas
makes an elegant alcohol free party drink

Is Rhubarb a Vegetable or Fruit?

Rhubarb is definitely a vegetable. In another post, I described it as having a split personality; it behaves like a fruit in flavour and aroma.

Rhubarb is too tart to be eaten raw and is therefore, always enjoyed cooked. Sugar tempers its sour disposition, as in our rhubarb syrup recipe today.

More Rhubarb Recipes

I have quite a few rhubarb recipes on this site, I love rhubarb in all manifestations: in desserts, in drinks and even in savoury dishes.

Here are some examples.

Lamb Shank and Rhubarb Tagine
Lamb Shank and Rhubarb Tagine, an original recipe that draws inspiration from the Persian Khoresh Rivas, which is a rhubarb and meat stew. Perfect spring recipe!
Get the Recipe!
Lamb Shank and Rhubarb Tagine
Rhubarb Crumble
Rhubarb Crumble is a quintessentially British dessert, and delicious, topped with custard, ice cream or plain old cream.
Get the Recipe!
Dairy Free Rhubarb Protein Smoothie
A dairy, vegan free rhubarb protein for all your workout needs, and great as breakfast too.
Get the Recipe!

Rhubarb Syrup Recipe

Rhubarb Syrup is pretty easy to make, like any homemade cordial. All we do is:

  1. Chop up the rhubarb.
  2. Place all the ingredients (rhubarb, sugar, water and ginger) and simmer.
  3. Strain, and store in bottles or jars.

You didn’t believe me, did you?

Sharbat-e Rivas

Rhubarb Syrup is pretty traditional and popular in Iran, where it’s known as Sharbat-e rivas (شربت ریواس).

The word sharbat refers to any number of cordials or sweet drinks made from fruits and vegetables and served cold.

You could use this same method with any number of fruit and create your own concoctions, with traditional lemonade coming to mine. All you are doing is flavouring and infusing the simple syrup (sugar and water).

Cordials are meant to be sweet, as they are diluted with water before being drunk. My son likes to add it to his lemonade (7Up), which makes it too sweet for my taste, so I always make some with half strength for him!

The ginger in the recipe is optional. I find that ginger, with its spicy and citrusy notes, enhances the flavour of rhubarb, and almost always use them together in drinks.

Let’s get our aprons on!

Sterilising Jars and Bottles to Store our Rhubarb Syrup

  1. Turn the oven on to a cool 130˚C/250˚F/Gas Mark ½.
  2. Wash the jars, bottles and lids in hot soapy water.
  3. Place the jars, bottles and lids upside down in the oven and leave them to dry, with the door closed for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn the oven off and leave the jars, bottles and lids in there, bringing them out only when you are ready to fill. Be careful, as they’ll be hot.

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Merci.

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Cheers!/ !به سلامتی Lin

Rhubarb Syrup in small glasses on white background

Rhubarb Syrup, Sharbat-eh Rivas

Rhubarb Syrup (Sharbat Rivas) recipe, a perfect spring and summer homemade cordial.
5 from 27 votes
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: alcohol free, drinks
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 15 Makes about 1.5 litres (6 cups/15 servings)
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • saucepan
  • ladle
  • strainer
  • bottles to store the syrup in


  • 500 g rhubarb
  • 300 g white sugar
  • 500 ml water
  • 5 cm ginger (optional)


  • Rinse the rhubarb well and chop them up into 5cm (2″) stalks.
  • Place everything into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil on medium heat. No need to skim any surface scum. If you don’t boil it vigorously, there will hardly be any.
  • Lower the heat right down and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes until the rhubarb has fallen apart.
  • Strain into a sterilised jar or bottle, either using a fine mesh strainer or a muslin cloth lined strainer, as discussed above.
  • Store in a cool place and use within 2 weeks. If it lasts that long! I tend to keep mine in the fridge, although it’s not necessary, given all that sugar!
  • To serve, just dilute with water, as you would any cordial, at a ratio of 1 syrup:4 water. But this is a matter of taste.


Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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23 thoughts on “Rhubarb Syrup Recipe (Sharbat-e Rivas), Homemade Cordial”

  1. George Simons

    5 stars
    This is nice too. Got lots of rhubarb still in the garden. I might knock this up tomorrow. Cheers!

  2. I’ve never heard about rhubarb before, but these cocktails look so adorable! I think it’s perfect for a girlfriends party! ‘Cause these are the most beautiful drinks I ever see 😉

  3. I really do love Rhubarb. I think you could do some amazing things with that syrup. I love this.

  4. This is really great. I love the color and honestly, I’ve always loved the flavor of rhubarb so I am giving this a try next weekend.

  5. I like the sound of this recipe. I bet it would taste very good. Going to try my hands on the recipe this weekend. Wish me luck.

  6. Wow, thanks for the recipe. I have a friend who sends me free rhubarb with the fruits I buy from her. And, I am like, “What I am suppose to do with rhubarb?” I never had it in the US — my mom wasn’t into veggies when cooking — and was stumped. But, thanks to your recipe, I will try it as a syrup.

  7. Wow! this looks cute and refreshing. Perfect for the unicorn-themed party that I am organizing. Thank you for this brilliant idea.

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