Rhubarb Pomegranate Lemon Concentrate

Processing: Boiling Water Bath 15 minutes
Yield: 8 cups

     
This is my own version of Lemonade Concentrates (or cordials) - fruity sugar syrups that you can drink with iced water, ginger ale or tonic water (50 - 75% water, 50-25% concentrate). Pomegranate and rhubarb partner well with the sharp lemon taste, sweetened by the added sugar. A nice glass of this is perfect in hot weather or all-year-long!
  
Ingredients:6 rhubarb stalks (approx 1 bunch)
3 pomegranates
2 cups water
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 or 6 lemons)
3 - 6 cups white sugar (to taste, I used 4 cups)
      
2 - 6 HOURS PRIOR:
Choose bright red rhubarb stalks. Wash rhubarb, trim ends away and dice into 1/2 inch (1cm) cubes. Simmer in a wide heavy-based pot for 10 minutes with the water. While the rhubarb is simmering, juice lemons - you'll need about 5 or 6 lemons to make 2 cups of lemon juice. Also prepare pomegranates by removing seeds and juice, placing seeds into a folded piece of muslin cloth, tied and attached to a spoon. Hang over pot so juice drips into the pot. Repeat with the rhubarb, tying the pulp in a piece of folded muslin to drip into the pot, attached to another spoon. Rest for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight to allow all of the juice to drip down. I waited about 6 hours before continuing with the next step.
      
Pre-heat four pint jars by covering in water and boiling for 10 minutes, pre-heat seals in a bowl of boiled water for 10 minutes. Then prepare the concentrate by whisking the first three cups of sugar into the pot over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved but don't allow the mixture to boil. Add sugar in half-cup amounts until sweetened to your likening - I used four cups altogether. Almost bring to a boil then turn the heat off and skim foam. Ladle into prepared hot half-pint or pint jars to 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, adding extra concentrate if necessary to correct headspace. Skim foam (if any) from the surface then wipe rims, apply seals and twist bands on to fingertip-tight. Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove jars after 5 minutes to a teatowel-covered bench to rest overnight. The next day remove bands, label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months. I made 3 pints and 2 half-pints of concentrate following this recipe.

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