Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Rhubarb-Infused Gin

After several unsuccessful attempts to bring the flavor of rhubarb to a summer cocktail (see here, and here), my friend Betsy Delph deserves full credit for the following success.
Remember that thing you struggled with for so long, that thing that seemed so simple but kept turning out a disaster? Remember when somebody pulled you aside and said there was a better way? Remember how the clouds parted as you stopped bashing your forehead against the nearest hard surface? I'm afraid the only example I can come up with is when I realized that to make the "sum" function work in Excel you have to surround the cells you want to add up with parantheses. So not only am I a Grammar Nazi and Type-A Lunatic, but now you know my only marketable skill is making cells in spreadsheets add. (I can be replaced with a keychain calculator.)

How brilliantly easy, then, to stop fighting with the rhubarb. To dice up a stalk and mix it with some cheap, dry gin. This was a solid cup of rhubarb and 3/4 of a pint of gin. My proportions were calculated, as usual, by whatever I had left in the pantry.
Into the fridge it sat for a week. Suspiciously, I shook it each morning as I made lunches.

On Sunday, we strained.
Out come the milked rhubarb pieces.


When straining, don't spill all over the table. A food stylist, I am not.

I am naturally handicapped when it comes to proper cocktail mixing. (I am from Utah.) I never have any interesting ingredients. I have three shakers but no muddling stick. I don't even know if that's what it's called (I call it a "wooden spoon handle"). The fact that I have two flavors of bitters should astound you. Therefore, I moved to my old standby, my Not Yet Payday cocktail, which is how I finish off all the booze in the cabinet, ounce by ounce, until we can afford to stock back up.

Not Yet Payday Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces of [fill-in-the-blank] booze
1 T simple syrup
Top with club soda

Finally. FINALLY. This beautiful little drink tasted like a tart, bubbly martini pie. Cold and refreshing, fruity and amazing. The gin had turned into hot, herby liquid rhubarb.

Against all odds, my long-awaited rhubarb cocktail.



  1. Drinking my rhubarb gin now. Verdict: DEElicious. Actually, this is the second cocktail, and my brain is so relaxed and happy I have no clever, or even particularly observant, things to say. Except: Delicious. Blueberries are starting to ripen here, that might be next: I love me some blueberries in a g+t, can't go wrong to put the blueberries in a little sooner, right?

  2. There may be no spirt nor flora that can not be improved with introduction of the other.


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