Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


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A Tale of Two Rhubarbs… and some gin

I have a jealousy problem… I hate to admit it, but I’m often jealous of other people’s produce. Yes, you read that correctly. Produce.

So in the spring, when everyone was singing the praises of their beautiful pink rhubarb cocktails, rhubarb syrup, rhubarb jam… and oh yes, rhubarb liqueur… I sat around and sulked. Where was MY rhubarb? Still growing…

But wait, I had some rhubarb in the freezer from last year. But that posed another problem. It was rhubarb alright, but not the pretty pink stuff. It was the green with a hint of red stuff… not exactly the “glamorous” variety.

So let’s get this straight, I’m now jealous of the *color* of the rhubarb. Oh brother, right?

Well, I finally got over it and pulled the green rhubarb out of the freezer and started an infusion. And because of my insecurities about the color and variety, I spiced it up with some orange zest, orange liqueur, and brown sugar.

A few days later, I ventured up to my parents farm (my favorite source for organic produce). To my surprise, the beautiful red rhubarb was flourishing. So I came home with a bunch of it and started another infusion.

They are both delicious. I think so far most people prefer the Rhubarb-Orange, but they are both tasty, and will be perfect drinking alone and in cocktails.

Variety 1: Rhubarb-Orange Gin

2 c. chopped Rhubarb (I used frozen, but fresh would be fine)

2 TB Orange Liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, etc.)

Zest of One Orange

2 c. Gin

1/4 c. Packed Dark Brown Sugar

In a small saucepan, combine rhubarb and Orange Liqueur. Heat until it starts to simmer. Allow to simmer on low for about 2 minutes.

Set rhubarb aside and allow to cool. Once this has cooled, add all ingredients to a quart jar (or larger). Close the jar, shake, and place in a dark, cool location for about 4-5 weeks.

Strain with a mesh strainer, press through cheesecloth, then a jelly bag and finally coffee filters. Perfect!

Variety 2: Rhubarb Gin

2 1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb

2 TB Sugar

2 1/2 c. Gin

3 TB Simple syrup (thick 2-1 sugar to water ratio) or more/less to taste

Toss rhubarb and sugar in a bowl and allow to macerate for at least an hour. (I followed the advice of Country Girl Brooklyn on this step) This brings out a lot of the beautiful pink juices from the rhubarb.

Place the macerated rhubarb and juices in a canning jar with the gin and allow to infuse for about a month.

Strain and filter with a mesh strainer, jelly bag if desired, and coffee filters. Once it is filtered, add simple syrup to your desired taste.

While these were infusing, the Rhubarb-Orange definitely looked pretty undesirable. The red rhubarb almost immediately became such a beautiful pink. But now that they are filtered, I realize that I should not have judged a rhubarb by its color. I was discriminating. I’m sorry rhubarb. Please forgive me.

If you haven’t already made a rhubarb infusion this year, you should try this! I understand that some areas may not have fresh rhubarb any longer. But in my area we can usually keep harvesting through August. If it’s too late, then please try this next year. They are both very tangy and tasty.

They actually both look quite beautiful now too, don’t they?

Cheers!