I made my first batch of rhubarb liqueur last year, and it was a roaring success…. I ran out long before I was ready for it to be gone. This year I made a larger batch, and I’m already beginning to wonder if I made enough. It goes over very well as a homemade gift.
I started the liqueur back in May and have been allowing it to age. I got into it for the first time this week, and have to say it’s darn tasty! It can be mixed with lemon juice and sparkling water, but I’ve been enjoying on the front porch after dinner, undiluted and chilled.
I’m not going to give exact measurements, because it really depends on growing conditions of the rhubarb and personal taste. Since this is a sipping cordial, I would recommend investing in some good vodka.
80 proof vodka
Chop rhubarb and place in a large jar (I filled a gallon jug about 2/3 full).
Pour vodka over rhubarb to cover by about an inch. Allow rhubarb to steep 3 or 4 weeks.
Strain vodka from the rhubarb pulp, and place back into clean jar.
Make a thick simple syrup using 1 part water to 1.5 parts sugar. Place sugar and water into a pan and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. Cool syrup to room temperature.
Add simple syrup to rhubarb vodka to taste. I really don’t know how much to recommend. It’s going to depend on your rhubarb and the level of tartness or sweetness you prefer. I had such a wet spring that my rhubarb was especially juicy, and the flavor wasn’t quite as intense as some years, so I used less sugar than the previous year’s batch.
Put a lid on the jar, place it in a cool dark location, and let it age at least 3 months. Initially, it’s going to taste pretty rough. I promise it will become nice and smooth as it ages.