• Rhubarb Infused Vodka

    by  • April 23, 2012 • Drink, Featured, Local Food • 7 Comments

    rhubarb sodaIt’s rhubarb season in central Ohio! I like rhubarb in jam, strawberry rhubarb pie, and my grandmother’s rhubarb crunch. But my favorite way to enjoy this slightly sweet, floral, first “fruit” of spring is in a vodka infusion.

    You might think I’m a lush but hear me out. Rhubarb is tongue-searingly sour and requires a lot of sugar or another strong flavor to temper the tart. Until I infused vodka with rhubarb, I had never truly appreciated the subtlty of the rhubarb flavor.

    Making an infusion, with rhubarb or any other fruit, is dead simple. Chop or mascerate fruit in a clean glass container. Fill with vodka to cover all the fruit. Age in a dark place, tasting regularly, until the infusion matches your desired flavor. Strain out the fruit and enjoy the infusion as a mixer or on its own with fizzy water, a delightfully low-cal, high-zest drink.

    rhubarb vodka infusion jarIn the case of rhubarb, I like to leave the infusion for up to two weeks. The clear vodka will turn a dusty red color and keep its piquancy for up to a year. The picture above shows the last of our 2011 rhubarb infusion, in one of my favorite jars made in Columbus Ohio, surrounded by the fresh rhubarb from the Greener Grocer that will make this year’s batch.

    I am reserving some rhubarb to make into a shrub, a sweetened vinegar infusion. I suspect that the shrub method will show off the many characteristics of rhubarb much like the vodka infusion I hold so dear.

    Do you like rhubarb? How do you prepare it?

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    I live to eat and eat to live, planning every meal to include as much local and seasonal abundance as possible. My favorite color is purple, my favorite vegetable is whatever is fresh and local, and my favorite drink is whatever you're pouring. Follow me @racheltayse


    7 Responses to Rhubarb Infused Vodka

    1. Nicole
      April 23, 2012 at 9:53 am

      I love rhubarb! I can eat it plain (because I like sour stuff), but it’s also good as jam. I still have some vanilla rhubarb I made last year and some chunky rhubarb and pink grapefruit. I might try making a shrub since I can’t enjoy alcohol for awhile. Since I love vinegar too, this might be a perfect pairing for me.

      Is that rhubarb local? I rarely see any red rhubarb when it’s in season at the farmers markets- only the green. In order to achieve a pretty red rhubarb jam last year, I added hibiscus powder.

      • April 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

        Yes, the Greener Grocer has rhubarb from Schacht Farms. They are located in Canal Winchester and likely have rhubarb for sale from the farm if it’s closer for you.

        • Nicole
          April 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

          Sweet! No, Schacht is WAY far away. We used to pick pumpkins there when I was a kid. GG is much closer. I’ll def be making a trip to the North Market this week!

    2. April 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      I’m not much of a drinker, but I googled shrub and found a great recipe.

      We are lucky to have several rhubarb plants in our yard. They aren’t quite ready to harvest, but I hope I’ll be ready with a few recipes besides the normal compote recipe that I usually do.

      I’m going to have to try my hand at making homemade jam as well.


    3. April 24, 2012 at 8:34 am

      This sounds great! Will definitely have to try it!

    4. Stuart
      May 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      I make Rhubarb Vodka each year, but never enough for any guests. I tend to leave it in the jar for at least 2 months, and last year I think it was about 10 months, before I decanted it. Leaving it for longer, doesn’t really increase the flavour, but it does intensify the colour as long as it is kept in the dark.


      • May 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm

        I only share with very special guests too, Stuart. The rhubarb vodka is for me!

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