What can I do with two sticks of rhubarb??
Love it or hate it British rhubarb season is upon us and in this house we are in the lovers camp.
Let’s talk gin! Gin, like rhubarb is a divider amoungst adult humans. I have been drinking gin since before it was trendy (did I just do a hipster?) and flavoured gin wasn’t so much of a widely available thing. So, I have been infusing my own for many years.
Before I put off all of you non- drinkers, there are many alcohol free spirit type drinks on the market that will work with this- and many other- spirit infusion recipes. For example; Lidl produce one called CeroCero which is really lovely both in taste and for the pocket as it is under £10.
To make rhubarb infused gin you will need;
- Gin or alcohol free alternative (my bottle was 50cl today but recipe can be adjusted to accomodate for more).
- Caster sugar 50-250g depending on how you like it, 250g works for up to a ltr of gin- you could use other sugars but that may alter the flavour.
- Two sticks of rhubarb.
- Kilner jar or similar- anything really as long as it has a good seal.
Rhubarb Gin is surprisingly easy to make.
I am making this in the garden today since the sun is out and I’m making it for my own use. If the drink were intended as a gift I’d prepare it in the kitchen.
Firstly, you need to make sure that your jar is very clean, it is important that you don’t encourage any unwanted growth of bacteria whilst the gin is infusing.
Next, you need to chop one of the sticks of rhubarb into 1cm-ish chunks and put into your chosen infusing vessel- save the rest of the rhubarb for the end.
Then, you add your sugar. How much depends on how you like it, I like strong flavours and not to feel like I’m drinking sweets, so I used just 50gs; just enough to take the edge off of the sour/sharpness that comes with rhubarb.
Don’t forget the important bit.
Most importantly, you need to add your gin. I’m using Fair gin which is Fairtrade and handmade in France. You do not have to use expensive gin to make this. This bottle was gifted to me by a friend and is not normally something I’d be able to afford to buy. In the past I’ve used supermarket own brand spirits, along with the usual mid range brands. If you use very cheap gin I’d recommend using more sugar than I have in this recipe. They aren’t very smooth and can be harsh in flavour.
The last step before sealing your vessel lays in the last stick of rhubarb. Cut this in lengths short enough to fit under the level of the gin. I do it like this because the lengths make really nice drink garnish’s once the infusion is finished.
Finally, seal up your vessel. The sugar will initally sit at the bottom, you will need to shake the vessel every few days until the sugar is disolved. After a few weeks you will notice the gin takes on the pink colour of the rhubarb.
Now you need patience!
You need to leave the vessel in a reasonably dark cool place whilst infusing. This is so you get the best colour for your end product- sunlight will make it less pink.
Ultimately, if you make this now; it will be ready to drink in the garden with your friends once the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. I’d leave it for the minimum of a month- but really the longer you leave it the better it will be.
If you want to explore other home brew adventures Andy Hamilton’s Booze for Free is an excellent start, along with River Cottage recipes.
Oh, if you are making different home brewed experiments. Make sure you label everything otherwise you may be in for an embarrassing bbq when you drink a flavoured vodka as if it is a hedgerow wine. This may lead to being very sick, obviously I can’t possibly disclose how or why I know how about that.
Here are some links to the products used in this post- it is not an advert, no-one loves us that much yet!
Enjoy and stay the F at home,
Molly’s Pantry x.