Rhubarb & Cardamom Cordial

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes (plus cooling time)
  • Yield: Makes approx. 350ml
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: English
  • Diet: Vegan


A delicious, gently spiced cordial made from English rhubarb, perfect for serving with sparkling water over ice, possibly with a good slug of gin!



  • 240g (8.5 oz) English rhubarb (approx. 1 large stalk)
  • 150g (5 oz) white granulated sugar
  • juice of 1/2 or 1 large lemon (depending if you prefer your cordial sweeter, or on the tarter side)
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 250ml (1 cup) cold water


  1. Top, tail and chop the rhubarb into approx 2 cm rounds. Combine in a medium saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice, cardamom pods (bruised slightly with something heavy to crack their skins and reveal the little black seeds inside – I use a rolling pin) and water.
  2. Set the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and allow the rhubarb to simmer for 5 minutes until it is soft and you can break it apart with the back of a spoon. All the sugar should be dissolved to form a thin syrup.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to steep and infuse as it cools.
  4. Strain the syrup through a clean square of muslin and store in a sealed, sterilised bottle or jar in the fridge for up to a week.


You can of course use forced rhubarb here. It will produce a lovely, violently pink hue.