Friday, June 7, 2013

Rhubarb Liqueur — A Unique Idea for Enjoying This Seasonal Stalk

Rhubarb is growing in full force in our part of the United States (the Northeast) right now. The recent cool and rainy weather has been quite beneficial to this herbaceous perennial. As with most backyard produce, it is only available for a limited time.

Photo courtesy of RhubarbFarmer.

I do not have a rhubarb patch, but my neighbor has two big and bountiful patches in his backyard. He has much more than he and his wife can use up, and last week he invited me to enter his yard any time and pick as much as I want! I plan to take him up on his offer. All I need to do now is decide which recipes to make: Rhubarb Jam from Put 'em Up! FruitSpiced Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney from Dishing Up® Oregon; or Rhubarb, Red Current Fool from Dishing Up® Maryland?

I’m sure I will opt to make more than one recipe with the generous supply of rhubarb at hand. I am even tempted to try a completely different recipe — Rhubarb Liqueur

Part of my job here at Storey is to convert our print books into digital formats. This past week I was working on converting a backlist book, Cordials from Your Kitchen, into an eBook when I stumbled across the recipe. I actually stopped working on the eBook conversion to write this post, thinking that our readers might also want to try this recipe while the rhubarb is ripe and the weekend is upon us.

Let me know if you do try it, and I’ll report back on my efforts.

Rhubarb Liqueur
Rhubarb isn’t everyone’s cup of tea — or glass of cordial. But something wonderful happens to it when you turn it into this easy-to-make liqueur.

1½ cups water
4 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 cups 100-proof vodka
2 cups white zinfandel or other rosé wine
  1. Bring water, rhubarb, sugar, and orange zest to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let stand until just warm. Pour into clean 2-quart jar with tight-fitting lid.
  2. Add vodka and wine.
  3. Cover, and let stand in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. 
  4. Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain out solids. Discard. Transfer liqueur to clean container, cover, and let stand for 2 weeks more. 
  5. Rack or filter into final container.

Variation, for fans of strawberry-rhubarb pie:
Try adding 1 cup crushed strawberries to the cooked rhubarb.

Broiled Grapefruit with Rhubarb Liqueur: Try this as an appetizer for Sunday brunch. Don’t worry about the alcohol; it will evaporate in the oven. Halve and section a chilled grapefruit, and remove visible seeds. Drain excess juice, then pour 1 tablespoon Rhubarb Liqueur over each half. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon light brown sugar on each half, and broil until lightly brown. Sugar should melt but not burn. Top each half with ½ maraschino cherry, and serve immediately. Serves 2.


Emalie said...

How long is this good for? I'm assuming long since there is liquor in it.

Anonymous said...

Emalie, I found this info in the introduction of the Cordials from Your Kitchen:
"Most liqueurs, except those made with a cream base, will last indefinitely if you keep them tightly closed. A cork or lid serves two purposes: It keeps the alcohol, which evaporates quickly when exposed to the air, in the bottle, and it keeps dust and other
unwanted substances out of the bottle. Store your homemade cordials in a cupboard or with your other liquors where they will improve with age, as the flavors blend and mellow. Even cream-based liqueurs will be smoother after a week or so of refrigeration."

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Here’s my rhubarb progress thus far:
Saturday I made the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble-Top Pie (minus the bottom crust, so really it was a crisp) from Dishing Up Maine. And, Monday night I made the Quick Rhubarb Jam recipe from Put 'em Up! Fruit.

Those two recipes used up all of the rhubarb I harvested from neighbor Ray's yard. I still have my sites set on the Rhubarb Cordial and there is still plenty more rhubarb available! . . .