As soon as spring has sprung, we head to the farmer’s market (or the grocery store) to start stocking up on the freshest seasonal produce that’s finally available again after the long winter. One of our favorite items is rhubarb, yet other than making strawberry rhubarb pie, we can never think of how else to cook with it. But Jamie Oliver just delivered inspiration in a big way, thanks to his recipe for rhubarb-infused gin. It’s simpler to make than you might think, and though we definitely want to keep some for ourselves, it’s great for gift-giving too.
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If you’ve never had rhubarb, it’s technically a vegetable, though it’s most often used in sweet recipes. It grows as a stalk, like celery, and tends to have red to pink skin and light green insides. Rhubarb has a tart flavor which is why it pairs so well with sweet fruit – they balance each other out.
Jamie Oliver’s rhubarb gin starts by creating that sweet-tart blend of flavors. First, you chop up your rhubarb, then bake it with a mixture of orange zest and juice, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Bake it until the rhubarb is softened and the sugar has dissolved – you’ll have a syrupy fruit mixture.
Then, you place the rhubarb mixture into a sterilized jar and cover it with gin. Let the mixture sit in a cool, dark place for three to four days, which will be ample time for the gin to pick up all of the rhubarb’s flavor.
Next up, you want to strain the mixture into a clean bottle. Your rhubarb gin is now ready to be sipped, shaken, stirred, or gifted!
Oliver recommends using it in a classic gin and tonic. Tonic water can be surprisingly sweet, though, so we recommend cutting it with some seltzer water so it doesn’t cover up the flavor of your freshly infused gin. You’ll have a drink that basically tastes like spring, and a new way to use rhubarb when it’s in season.
Before you go, check out our roundup of summer cocktails below:
Watch: How to Make Gorgeous Chocolate-Covered Strawberries That Have a Sweet Surprise Inside