Last week I finally tried the fabled Rhubarb Liqueur I had made, which was inspired by this post from Mostly Foodstuffs. There's a bit of a wait, but it is as good as it was heralded to be. I was lucky enough to get a visit from intrepid preserver, Doris the Goat, of Doris and Jilly Cook who was teaching a class on preserving at the nearby Omega Institute. I thought what better time to break out the rhubarb booze? Maybe that's why Doris was such a wonderful guest, not only providing helpful information on my new (used) pressure canner but arriving with a jar of this in hand. Isn't it a wonderful world?
Even though it was daytime, we clinked my special little glasses, while the rest of her crew snoozed on the hammock. Doris' summary of the libation? "It's rhubarb pie in a glass!" And indeed it was. It came out perfectly; not too sweet, smells exactly of rhubarb, light pink color, and strangely (dangerously?) enough it doesn't even taste like alcohol. In fact, the night before I had tried it hoping it was good, because I talked it up and wanted to make sure I could back up that talk. I added gin to it because it just wasn't tasting like a pre-dinner cocktail. However, as an postprandial drink, it is superb on it's own. No ice, just basement temperature, served up neat.
The original recipe calls for Everclear or grain alcohol, but I chose the ever handy, and legal in my state, vodka. It has been said that the 90 percent alcohol content of Everclear pulls out more fruit essence, but I thought the vodka did an incredible job. Talk of alcohol soaked in fruit always makes people excited; it's that good. I made brandied apricots last year, and the cordial it made was stellar. I've got a few more quart jars steeping all sorts of things. What are you soaking in alcohol these days? Besides yourself, that is.
N.B. Deena, from Mostly Foodstuffs, made a good point in the comments about the lack of alcoholic kick in my liqueur, and that is: her recipe used grain alcohol, and the sugar levels were adjusted thusly. I used the milder vodka and should have taken down the sugar. Be warned!