9th July: a rare Saturday of family time at home combined with the need to make the most of the limited productivity of our little garden as we were going away (to different places) for a few days the following week.
Among the pickings was over a kilo of rhubarb (grown in half a water butt – the other one has courgette plants in it). Having recently bottled last year’s sloe gin, and not yet got any raspberries to do the business with, the lad and I had decided that some of this would go towards an experiment in rhubarb gin.
This is what we actually did:
- Wash the rhubarb
- Cut the pinkest (lower) bits of the stalks into roughly inch lengths, setting the top half of each stalk aside to be stewed
- Weighed it (600g)
- Dropped it in the massively large Kilner jar we got from a charity shop some years ago
- Using roughly the quantities from the Superpants recipe, because I like Hugh F-W stuff and that was their source, we added 300g of castor sugar: a mix of white and golden because that’s what we had, pouring it in on top
- Closed the lid, and shook the sugar so it was stuck all over the rhubarb
- Poured in 75cl of London Dry Gin from what is effectively our corner shop; OK so Waitrose is our corner shop, we live with it 😉
- Closed the lid again, and shook repeatedly
- Stored it in a cool dark corner, with a note on the counter above which read “have we shaken the gin today?”
- There was then a significant pause… which we decided would probably last until shortly before the lad went back to Uni. Can’t think why…
Perhaps fittingly, 9th July also proved to be the day that my ‘sloe gin’ guru Dom Nicholas, monk of Alton Abbey, died. I think he would have approved.
29th August: It also seemed fitting to end the ‘Not Greenbelt 2016’ (#notgb16) festival with the conclusion of the rhubarb gin experiment. You can read about the festival (which raises funds The Big Issue Foundation) here.
Today the lad and I strained the rhubarb gin; it gave us almost exactly a litre of liquid, which we assume includes the juice of the rhubarb but more particularly the sugar we added. It tastes… delicious, and has a bit of a kick. We’ve not yet tried the ‘cut with champagne’ version, that will need to come later!
Left with gin infused but otherwise raw rhubarb we didn’t feel we could throw it in the compost – if only because we’d get the worms very drunk 😉
So instead, we stewed some down, with a little more sugar, mixed that with lime jelly cubes and made the whole into Rhubarb, Gin and Lime Jelly. A finger taste before it set suggests it will taste lovely, but we’ll see how tomorrow guests take to it.
With the rest, plus some added fresh rhubarb from the patch, we made a simple rhubarb crumble, which we hope will have a suitable kick from the not so secret ingredient. It smells lovely but is going in the freezer, so the taste test will be much delayed.
So that’s about it really. Feel free to try copying any or all of the above, and let me know the results, good or bad. Happy gin drinking… and if you’re a connoisseur of the stuff try and get hold of my favourite holiday find Wicked Wolf a new handcrafted award-winning gin from Exmoor (but don’t waste it on rhubarb!)