To me, rhubarb is a very “British” flavour. From the “Rhubarb Triangle” to crumble, it’s definitely something I associate with the UK.
That said, we really kinda suck at it.
The number of purported rhubarb items that actually taste little to nothing LIKE rhubarb seems infinite. The ever-growing catalogue of rhubarb gins is a great example. I’m not saying they’re bad, just that I’ve yet to have one that actually tastes like rhubarb.
Our sodas aren’t much better.
I’ll start with the vaguest – Bon Accord Rhubarb Soda , which lists other juice percentages but only refers to rhubarb natural flavours. I need more data!
Cawston Press Rhubarb, while a nice drink, contains a miserly 2% Rhubarb Juice, ditto Posh Pop’s Strawberry and Rhubarb.
Dalston Rhubarb aims a bit higher at 4%.
If you opted for M&S British Rhubarb Cordial (42% juice) diluted with soda water, you could perhaps get up to 8 to 10%.
Square Root is doing even better, with a whopping 15.4% rhubarb juice in their seasonal soda. I like this one, and they have some other great flavours too.
One I haven’t tried but keep meaning to buy is Luscombe Organic Rhubarb Crush. It contains 20% rhubarb juice, so I’m hoping it’s a winner.
I’m afraid, however, that these all pale in comparison to the delectable German offering from Fritz-Spritz. At 40% juice, it’s the taste I was looking for. I first had it in Germany, where I also discovered amazing cartons of rhubarb juice in the supermarkets. So sharp, so zingy, so delicious.
It is a little trickier to come by in the UK, but you can sometimes find it in random places, although at time of writing, everywhere I could find online was out of stock.
My takeaway from all this is come on, UK, get your act together and ramp up the rhubarb. I’m hoping that somewhere out there lurks a little company that’s smashing it but I’ve yet to find them…
PS: If you’re looking for an alcoholic rhubarb hit, Rhucello is worth a sample, although I still want them to punch it up more! I also just read that Warner’s Rhubarb Gin is one third juice, so clearly an emergency taste test is needed.