How To Turn Rhubarb Into A Refreshing Iced Tea

Nothing says the weather is turning warm more than when rhubarb starts appearing in the produce department. This distinctive stalky veggie looks like celery and can range in color and taste from tart and tangy ruby red to plain old sour pink and green. It's a favorite when making a strawberry-rhubarb pie, jam, or a yummy sauce, but rhubarb can also make a lovely and refreshing tea for those balmy summer days — and it's super easy to do.

To transform your rhubarb into a sweet hydrating beverage, cut up each stalk into a few pieces and place them at the bottom of the pot with about a cup of water per stalk. You will need to bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes so it can extract all of the lovely citrusy and sour goodness. After it has steeped, a strainer will come in handy to remove the rhubarb. But, unless you like tea that's tart, you may want to add some sugar to really enhance and bring out the flavor of this tea.  

Add in other flavors

When selecting stalks to use for your tea, you want to pick those with the most flavor. This means staying away from rhubarb that is old as well as rhubarb that was been picked too soon. The rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing is to look for thinner stalks that are no more than an inch thick. And if the stalk has not hit the 8-inch mark, move on to the next. It was harvested too soon and will not give you the flavor you are hoping for.

If you want to get creative, rhubarb's flavor pairs well with a number of other ingredients. It definitely tastes delicious with strawberries, so feel free to add some of those berries to your brew. And while you are at it, use a few hibiscus tea leaves to add cranberry tartness to it. Ginger and mint are two that you can steep along with your rhubarb. And additionally, when prepping your rhubarb for your tea, make certain to discard the leaves. They are inedible and should be tossed.