Rhubarb Gin is a new venture for me. Fruit gins are very trendy and I’ve made a few varieties over the years, but not with rhubarb until now. I tasted some rhubarb gin at the Ideal Home Show in March and was quite taken with it – but I couldn’t bring myself to buy any when I knew I could make it. So here we are. It’s as easy as all fruit gins and it only takes a month to mature. The acidity of the rhubarb works well with gin and it isn’t too sweet.
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I’ve been making Sloe Gin since I was in my twenties. In fact, I remember being very proud of my first batch, made when I was about 22. It was the first thing I had made that my mother hadn’t. I pretty much stuck to sloes for a few years until I found recipes for Raspberry Gin and Strawberry Vodka. Very nice! The good thing about these, including the rhubarb gin, is that the maturing time is only about a month instead of the three months that sloe gin needs.
I use a two-litre Kilner jar to make my fruit gins. This gives you plenty of room for a litre of gin, the fruit and the sugar. The yield is just over a litre – maybe 1.1-1.2 litres. I often put my gin into small bottles to give as presents or keep, although an old gin bottle is just as good if it’s for home consumption. I eventually invested in a Sloe Gin set with everything in. It includes the jar, a funnel and some small bottles. Everything you need to get started!
The gin I use is any basic supermarket brand, although I like Waitrose London Dry Gin. There really isn’t any point in buying expensive gin because you are masking the taste of all those beautiful botanicals with the fruit. Having said that, I always buy London or Dry gin which is distilled with juniper and botanicals rather than just having the flavouring added. Maybe it’s unnecessary, but you could try it and let me know.
It’s well worth slicing the rhubarb length-wise as well as chopping it up. Rhubarb skin is tough so exposing the inside gets more of the flavour in. A few weeks is all you need to mature rhubarb gin. This batch had about a month, but I wouldn’t leave it much longer because the colour might start to get duller.
Rhubarb Gin also works well in cocktails like this Slingsby Summer Cup.
You will be left with some rather tasty rhubarb. I found I could eat it raw as the gin and sugar had really penetrated into the flesh. I shall see what it’s like in Rhubarb Fool – stay tuned!
- 500 g rhubarb
- 1 l London Dry gin see note
- 300 g caster sugar
- Rinse the Kilner jar with boiling water to sterilise
To make the rhubarb gin:
- Cut the rhubarb lengthwise, then chop into 2cm pieces
- Put the rhubarb into the Kilner jar. Add the sugar and gin
- Close the lid and shake the mixture. Shake the gin every day until the sugar is dissolved
- Leave in a dark place for 3-5 weeks
- Use a sieve over a large jug to remove the rhubarb. Using a funnel, pour into a bottle or bottles for storing.