I was so pleased with the success of my fruit liqueur experiment at the end of last year that I was keen to try out alternatives throughout the season. First up this year was the Rhubarb harvest. Perhaps not the first candidate to sprint to mind, but I was quickly reminded by the success of the Gooseberry Liqueur and set my reservations to one side. Besides, I always have much more rhubarb than I can use, and if I could pull this one off then, heh, a unique Yorkshire tipple? Brilliant… Again, this formed a bit of an experiment with 3 variations, all of which can be derived from this recipe.
- Rhubarb, Ginger & Orange Liqueur – I have an image of drinking this on Christmas eve…
- Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur – Great for those winter evenings? Just leave out the orange
- Rhubarb Liqueur – More for comparison purposes. Scientific roots coming out here – I feel the need for a baseline. Just leave out the Orange & Ginger
- 400g Rhubarb, finely sliced
- 50g Root Ginger, grated
- grated zest of 3 Oranges
- 70cl Vodka (40° ABV or better preferred)
- Stock Syrup to taste (approx 300ml)
- In a sterilised Kilner jar, add the Rhubarb, Ginger and Orange Zest. Use pickling jars or spirit bottles as an alternative
- Top up with Vodka and shake well
- Leave in a dark place for 3 months, shaking occasionally (I hide mine under the stairs…)
- Filter off the solids into a bowl through layers of muslin. Squeeze out any extra liquid
- Filter again through a funnel lined with a couple of sheets of strong kitchen roll
- Sweeten to taste using the cold stock syrup. I found a ratio of 12 parts spirit to 5 parts syrup was just right for me.
- TIP: Try experimenting in a small glass to get the proportions right then scale up for the full batch. Be careful – you can always make it sweeter in the future, and the flavour will develop…
- Transfer the liqueur to sterilized bottles and leave for another month (or longer if you have the will power) to mature. This should allow any remaining sediment to settle out
- If desired, siphon off into smaller bottles perhaps to give as Christmas presents! This tends to leave the cloudy stuff in the last bottle, which is a good excuse for you to get in there and drink some straight away. After all, you don’t want those dregs hanging around now, do you?
After the straining & sweeting stage, you get a great opportunity to ‘sample’. It was clear to me that the Rhubarb Liqueur on it’s own was somewhat lacking by comparison. However, the other 2 variants were terrific. I urge you all to get some brewing now – you’ll get a batch just in time for Christmas and the cold winter weather! Once again, my thanks goes to The Cottage Smallholder for providing the initial inspiration – Please check their blog out, it’s amazing! Want to invest in some Kilner Jars or some great presentation bottles? I’ve had some excellent service from JamJarShop.com – a terrific range of products at excellent prices
The Rhubarb Liqueur is quite subtle. It has a great pink colour and a slight acidity, but by itself it doesn’t really stand out.
Add the ginger, and you get an amazing transformation. Instantly warming, you get a superb balance in a drink which would be perfect for a winter evening.
Add the orange, and surprisingly, the effect of the ginger is less pronounced, but the aroma given off by the zest continues to transform this drink yet again making this a very festive tipple. One recipe, 3 very different effects.