If you want to know how to make rhubarb vodka, here’s a simple recipe to try. There are also a few suggestions for some extra variations in case you want to mix it up a bit, seeing as rhubarb goes well with so many other fruits and spices.
- 3 or 4 sticks of rhubarb, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 fresh raspberries
- 1 litre of mid-priced vodka (supermarket standard own brand is fine, or look out for a mid-priced brand on special offer – don’t use a premium vodka is it isn’t necessary)
- Mix the rhubarb with the sugar in a jar, say 2 litre capacity. Cover and leave to macerate for a few hours, or overnight, to make the juices run.
- Stir in the vodka and raspberries, cap tightly and give it a good shake to help the sugar start to dissolve.
- Place in a cool dark place and shake a little every day or so for 3 to 4 weeks.
- Strain well and filter through a muslin cloth to remove any pieces of fruit.
- Rebottle into a very clean bottle. At this point it is ready to drink, but it will taste better if you allow it another month or two to mellow before drinking it.
- This flavoured vodka should keep for at least a year if kept in a cool dark spot.
I grow Champagne rhubarb, which has stems that are pink at one end and green at the other. The raspberries in my version are to help the finished liquid to end up a pale pink colour. If you’re using stems that are pink or red all over then you can omit the raspberries, although they do add a pleasantly fruity extra layer to the flavour.
Other possible additions to sugar-rhubarb-vodka mixture
- Citrus: Small strip of unwaxed lemon or orange peel
- 4 to 8 strawberries
- Small piece of vanilla pod (or add few drops of real vanilla extract at the end)
- Spices: quarter of a cinnamon stick, a clove or two, a 2cm cube of stem ginger in syrup, or a small petal from a star anise ‘flower’
It’s probably best not to add huge amounts of other flavourings to your vodka, so that the rhubarb is the star performer in the drink with some more subtle supporting tastes to complement it.
Your finished rhubarb vodka infusion can be sipped slowly neat, or you can mix it into some sparkling water for a longer dry-ish drink. Or you can mix it into apple juice, lemonade, cream soda (vanilla) or ginger ale for a sweeter tall drink. It’s also an interesting addition to cocktails.
Are you tempted to make some rhubarb vodka yourself? July is usually your last chance for using home grown rhubarb stems.