This will hopefully be the first post of an irregular running feature, giving you a little insight into my world. I spend my days trying out new recipe ideas, sometimes they work sometimes not so much. These experiments often end up in my books or magazine features but sometimes these experiments are purely to fulfil my inquisitive nature and these will, now, hopefully find a home here.
I am a proud Yorkshireman, I was born and brought up in Bradford just a mile from the Rhubarb Triangle, that glorious area which each and every January brings us the best forced rhubarb, thin stemmed and bright pink. With the start of the year being dark and cold, rhubarb is one of the bright lights that helps make the winter months more bearable.
As with blood oranges if I find a good crop of rhubarb available at my local greengrocer I scoop it up, not really knowing what it will be used for but knowing I would regret not buying it. Almost inevitably this means I end up buying too much but I refuse to let it rot, I will always find a way to use it, whether that be in a crumble, as a jam or as a topping for my porridge it will get used. This weekend I had a few stems left over from a photoshoot and had no real appetite so instead of cooking it to enjoy now I decided to extend the season and turn it into Rhubarb Vodka, a tipple I can enjoy much longer than the rhubarb season itself lasts. I made the vodka this morning but it will take about a month before the flavours of the rhubarb has infused into the vodka and it is ready to drink, check back with me late March to see how it turned out.
If you want to try it all you need is 200g of thin stemmed, pink rhubarb (trimmed weight) cut into 1 inch long pieces, 50g caster sugar, a couple strips of orange peel and 750ml vodka. All you need to do is add the rhubarb and sugar to a 1 litre capacity jar and mix together. Allow to macerate for an hour or so then add the orange peel and the vodka, stirring together. Place the jar into a dark cool space and leave for a month, shaking the jar every day. Once ready pour the mixture through a sheet of muslin to strain out the rhubarb and bottle.