This thirst-quenching Sparkling Rhubarb – Lemon Ice recipe strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons.

With rhubarb being in season for a fairly short time (April–July), I try to use it in recipes I know I can enjoy for a few weeks, or even months.

This season I’ve already made a few batches of strawberry-rhubarb compote (perfect on waffles or pancakes) as well as a delicious buckwheat-rhubarb quick bread. This newest recipe, for Sparkling Rhubarb–Lemon Ice, is so far my favorite. I’m an ice cream fiend so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about an “ice.” But—for better or for worse—I was immediately addicted.

rhubarb stalks set on their side in a glass jarWhat’s in lemon ice?

This lemon ice recipe is definitely tart, but the addition of honey and vanilla-sugar balance that out and add their own nuances.

A hearty amount of Prosecco is used in this for two reasons; it adds great flavor and keeps the liquid from freezing solid. Which means, this refreshing treat can hang out in the freezer for as long as you need and won’t require any “thaw” time. It’s always scoopable (or spoonable if you eat out of the container like I tend to do). I photographed the ice right after processing, so it looks a little softer. However, the longer it freezes after processing, the more rounded scoops you’ll get.

And, as you know, I love cardamom, so I added a hefty pinch of it to the Rhubarb Ice, but it’s not necessary.

The rest? It’s pretty simple, fresh lemon juice and rhubarb. 

Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons.

How do you make lemon ice?

The beauty of lemon ice is that it’s cool, sweet, tart, and refreshing. And, it’s a lot easier to make then ice cream! 

Here’s the process for making lemon ice:

Step 1:

Cook rhubarb, honey and sugar in a saucepan until soft; purée and strain. (If you want just lemon ice, skip adding the rhubarb and cook the water, honey and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add to lemon mixture and double the amount of lemon juice.) 

Step 2:

Combine sparkling wine and lemon juice. 

Step 3:

Fill ice cube trays with wine mixture and freeze solid. 

Step 4:

Purée frozen cubes then freeze immediately. Serve when ready! 

For this recipe I add some fresh rhubarb. To do so, I 

Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons. What’s Vanilla Sugar?

Simply put, vanilla sugar is sugar that has been infused with vanilla beans. It is delicious! 

You can buy vanilla sugar at specialty cooking stores, but it’s also incredibly easy to make at home.

It’s simple; don’t throw away your used vanilla beans! Fill an airtight glass jar with granulated sugar, then bury your used, split vanilla beans in the sugar, cover tightly and let sit for 1–2 weeks, the longer the better, shaking it every so often. As you use vanilla beans, just keep adding them to the sugar, or make another batch.

Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons.

Want more rhubarb recipes? ZK has a whole archive, here are some favorites!

Rhubarb Curd (perfect for tarts and cakes)

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie (have a slice of summer!)

Strawberry-Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits (featuring a honey granola)

Rhubarb Margarita (an all time fav!)

Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons.

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this Lemon Ice!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe.  Happy cooking!

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Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons.

Sparkling Rhubarb – Lemon Ice

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

This thirst-quenching Sparkling Rhubarb – Lemon Ice recipe strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup vanilla sugar
  • 1½ cups Prosecco (or sparkling wine of choice)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt

Instructions

Combine rhubarb, water, honey, and sugar in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until rhubarb is soft, about 5 minutes.

Transfer rhubarb mixture to a blender and blend until smooth then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in Prosecco, lemon juice, cardamom (if using), and salt.

Ladle mixture into 3 ice cube trays and freeze at least 3 hours or up to 5 days.

Meanwhile, freeze a medium glass or metal bowl, food processor workbowl, and food processor blade at least 30 minutes. Attach workbowl and blade to food processor.

Working quickly, and with one tray at a time, use a dinner knife to loosen the cubes out of the trays and into the chilled workbowl. Pulse cubes until mixture is smooth and creamy, 18–20 pulses. Transfer mixture to chilled bowl and freeze while processing remaining 2 trays. Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.


Notes

Sparkling Rhubarb – Lemon Ice lasts a few months in the freezer.

If you want just lemon ice, skip adding the rhubarb and cook the water, honey and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add to lemon mixture and double the amount of lemon juice.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 40g
  • Sodium: 60mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: Lemon Ice, Rhubarb Recipe

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Scoops of rhubarb ice in glasses with lemon slices and spoons.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. I am loving rhubarb this season too! It looks like it’s finally warming up around here, so these would be the perfect way to keep cool!