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Rhubarb Vodka - value added product (if you can bring yourself to sell any!)  RSS feed

 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I was introduced to this by some friends just the other day. It is utterly fantastic, knocks the socks off Sloe Gin. I'm not a spirits drinker, but this could easily make me into one.

Vodka (cheapest you can get that isn't actually paint thinner)
Sugar
FORCED rhubarb

Chop the rhubarb and mix it with the sugar and vodka in the ratio 1:1:1 (exact amounts doesn't seem critical). Let it sit for 3 months or so in a dark cupboard. Strain it through a sieve lined with coffee filter paper into bottles ready for consumption. It should have a delicate pink colour and taste just like the finest rhubarb.

The trick with this seems to be the forcing - if the stems have seen light they develop chlorophyll which discolours the vodka and makes it look like you are drinking a urine sample, as well as giving it a slightly less delicate flavour. Yet another excuse to expand my rhubarb growing area, although I also now need some forcing pots.
 
Mike Feddersen
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My mom made dandelion wine in a laundry tub when my older sisters were 3, 5 and 6. She thought the wine mixture was evaporating rather quickly, turns out little girls liked it too.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Michael, so what is your forcing technique ?

The key is to use rubarb that is not green or red right?
 
Michael Cox
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Forced rhubarb doesn't develop chlorophyll, so stays pink or red, rather than going green. It also stays more delicate and less stringy. The easiest way to force is to cover an entire stool with a pot from mid winter until spring. It has to totally block out the light.

Alternatively you can lift a bunch of 3 year old crowns and bring them into a cool cellar. They need to feel a hard frost before they are brought in.here in the UK there are some specialised farms that do forced rhubarb in massive sheds and pick them under candle light so they don't ever see anything brighter!
 
Mike Feddersen
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I think if flavor is the goal, I would do some rhubarb taste testing. As a kid we would head to the rhubarb patch with a cup of sugar. Pull out young piece, as a kid we knew small diameter and red was sweetest, break off the two ends, lick and dip in the sugar.

My uncle Jack made potato wine and beet wine.
 
Mike Feddersen
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I saw some great photos of "Forced Rhubarb" at Google images(link below), made me go find a video that explains it. And I found a interesting blog talking about how they harvest it and than store it for later use.



Cook and store

Forced Rhubarb Images I liked how some used garbage cans to cover the plants.
 
Michael Cox
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