Simple Liquor: How To Make Rhubarb Gin
Rhubarb gin, rhubarb gin and tonics, rhubarb gin ginger ale - all these drinks are delicious specialties you might think you can only get at the bar.
But is that the truth? No!
It’s actually possible to make your own rhubarb-based drinks at home for much less money, and you might not even realize how easy it is to do! If you can get rhubarb, you can make these delicious drinks for yourself, and your friends might even start to think you’re a world-class bartender!
I’ll walk you through the steps in a simple way so it doesn’t get confusing - don’t worry. You’ll be making these drinks in no time!
What You Will Need
What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
While many might think it is a vegetable because it grows like celery, rhubarb is categorized in the US as a fruit!
This fruit grows in a stalk, like celery, but it has a bright pink color that stands out more than the green color of celery. Actually, rhubarb’s color can range from pale light pink to very bright pink, but this color has nothing to do with the sweetness level.
The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous, but the stalk is great for eating! It’s very tart when raw, but gets a nice sweetness once it is cooked or baked.
White granulated sugar is sugar that has been refined to remove all of the naturally occurring molasses. This forms very fine crystals with a white color, and this type of sugar is most commonly used in the US.
Granulated sugar is a good choice for rhubarb gin because it will not muddy the delightfully pink color of the mixture!
Gin is a broad name for a series of neutral grain based spirits that were, originally and most often, made out of juniper berries. While there is no set regulation to give gin its name, there are specific types of gins that are most often made and sold.
For this recipe, I recommend using a basic gin with a neutral flavor that will not overtake the flavor of the rhubarb. Many people like to use Old Tom gin thanks to its sweet flavor, which works well with this type of recipe.
Large Glass Jar
Large glass jars are a great way to make this recipe because part of the fun of this drink is watching it develop as you wait! With a glass jar, you’ll be able to watch the color of the rhubarb combine with the gin as it is processing. Trust me; you’ll want to be able to see this.
Depending on how you want to use your gin, you may want to remove the rhubarb from it. If so, you can do this using a sieve once it is down soaking up the flavor. Sieves are a great way to remove solids from a liquid.
For a more thorough separation, use cheesecloth or a piece of muslin to prevent any sugar from making it through the sieve holes as well.
Step 1: Clean & Chop
The first step is to prepare your rhubarb. This is pretty easy, but it’s important to do this well to ensure that your rhubarb gin turns out properly.
You want to use about 1 pound of rhubarb for every bottle of gin (27 oz).
Wash the rhubarb well. Then, trim off the stalks and get rid of the base and any leaves that might have been attached. Once this is finished, chop the stalks up into 1 inch chunks. Remember, they don’t have to be perfect!
Step 2: Combine Ingredients
Now, you will want to put the following into your large glass jar. If you cannot fit it, split everything amount evenly between two containers:
- 1 lb chopped rhubarb
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
Step 3: Shake!
To make sure that everything is mixed together thoroughly, give your jar a shake! Shake it as much as you’d like, but you only need to mix it enough that it is evenly combined.
Step 4: Wait 24 Hours
Now, it’s time to wait! The sugar will help to draw out the flavor of the rhubarb into the gin, so you need to give it time to do its work.
Once 24 hours has passed, you can move on to adding the most fun ingredient - the gin!
Step 5: Add The Gin
Now that the rhubarb and sugar have had time to sit, you can add the gin. Add a full bottle (27oz/800mL) to the rhubarb mixture.
Step 6: Wait Some More!
Now, it’s time to wait even longer. You want to let the rhubarb gin form for the next two to four weeks, depending on how patient you can be! The longer you leave it, the stronger the rhubarb flavor will be, and the sweeter the mixture will become.
After two to four weeks has passed, your rhubarb gin is ready!
(Optional) Step 7: Prep & Pour
Once time is up, you can strain the liquor using a sieve lined with muslin or cheesecloth to keep the sugar from making it into the final product. This isn’t required, though, as the rhubarb can be left in. Just use a ladle to get the gin out for drinks!
Let’s watch all the steps in action here (plus, learn how to make a cocktail with your gin creation!):
It’s Time To Drink Your Gin!
Now you know how easy it is to make this delicious pink drink! Not too bad, right? Was the process more simple than you expected?
I thought so! It’s also possible to make rhubarb gin by creating a rhubarb simple syrup and mixing this into gin, but I’ve found that the process I shared today is much more homemade and fun, so try it instead!
What kind of drinks will you be making with your rhubarb gin? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to hear about it all.