Homes & Gardens
This easy, fruity liqueur is endlessly adaptable; if you prefer it sweeter to drink neat, simply add more sugar and leave to macerate a little longer before straining. Alternatively, sweeten by making up a long drink with lemonade or with a little elderflower cordial and sparkling water. Split vanilla pods, sliced ginger, bruised green cardamom pods, citrus peel or fennel seeds can all be added at the start, and the rhubarb can be supplemented or replaced with any summer berry, melon or stone fruit.
MAKES 1 LITRE
10 minutes to prepare, 7-30 days to infuse 1 ltr vodka
400g rhubarb, rinsed, dried and sliced
4 tbsp caster sugar, or to taste
Crushed ice, sliced lemon, thyme or rosemary sprigs and chilled sparkling water or lemonade, to serve
■■ Put the vodka, rhubarb and sugar in a large, lidded vessel of some sort and place in a cool day place for anything from 7 days to 30 days, turning every couple of days to gently muddle the ingredients together.
■■ Strain through a muslin-lined sieve to remove the spent fruit and transfer to sterilised bottles or jars (either run them through the hot wash of a dishwasher to sterilise, or wash heatproof jars/bottles in hot, soapy water and dry out in a low oven). Again, store the liqueur in a cool, dark place or the fridge. It will be safe to drink for many, many weeks, but the flavour will be best within the first 3 months.
■■ To make up as a long drink, pour 30-45ml liqueur over crushed ice in tall glasses with sliced lemon and herb sprigs, such as thyme or rosemary. Top up with sparkling water or lemonade, according to taste.