Friday 26 July 2013

The Rhubarb Tumble

It's very, very hard to create a new cocktail. It's easy to mix a new drink yeah, but is it original... everywhere? Probably not. Anything that can be mixed has been mixed already, many times over. All the good ones have been claimed and written down.  Within minutes of a new spirit/liqueur/mixer arriving in the shops, cocktail people the world over will be fervently combining it. Actually, scratch that, invariably the manufacturer will have employed a PR to get a known mixologist (hate that word) to create a whole array of cocktails using said ingredient to feature in magazine puff pieces, lifestyle articles etc.

However. I've not seen this mix anywhere else. And yes, I have really searched (the internet) so I think I can put my flag in it. I like the Britishness of it. Pink rhubarb is a national treasure and it's a damn shame that the liqueur I use is French!

In 2006, I was making a D.N.A. (a gin martini style drink with apricot flavouringwhen my youngest son Etien asked what would happen if I replaced the apricot with the rhubarb liqueur I'd taken delivery of that day. You may ask why a five year old is showing such a keen interest in, and knowledge of,  his father's spirits but that's how we roll in Palmers Green. I made the substitute, and a few more changes - vanilla sugar syrup and vanilla vodka - and the Rhubarb Tumble was born. Like all good cocktails it's a balance of sweet and sour with a strong base. It is a mix of sweet vanilla and sharp rhubarb.

I've not yet met anyone who didn't like it.

Before you make it, you'll need some vanilla sugar syrup. This takes about a week, so I hope you weren't thirsty. There is no substitute I'm afraid. 

Take equal weights of water and sugar and slowly bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Once cool, decant this into a bottle with a screwcap/cork. Now push in at least six vanilla pods. You can also use the deseeded pods from cooking. Leave this for at least a week in the fridge, shaking occasionally. The resulting syrup will be deep with flavour. It's a handy thing to have anyway. I have six home-made syrups in the fridge... but that's for another post.

You'll also need rhubarb liqueur and the ONLY ONE worth bothering with is Rhubarbe by Giffard. You'll probably have to web buy it. I've not seen it in the shops. All the other commercially available rhubarbs are bobbins (yes, I love that word). Trust me, I've tried them.

To my palate, Stolichnaya make the best tasting vanilla vodka. Get it if you can but the Absolut isn't at all bad and is in most supermarkets.

I'll give you the ratios here. 1 measure would normally equal 25ml, that's one bar shot.

1 of lemon juice,
1 of vodka, 
1 of vanilla vodka,
.75 of Rhubarbe and
.25 of vanilla sugar syrup. 

You can add a hint of a dash of grenadine for colour; it depends how gay you want it to look. Shake or stir with plenty of ice, strain and serve in a small martini glass or champagne saucer.

Contains about 2.5 shots of alcohol, about the same as a pint of strong lager... so be careful. Or not.

1 comment :