Rhubarb is just coming into season, and I’m looking forward to eating the varied crumbles, like my Rhubarb and Blood Orange Crumble, and pies that this fruit that is really a vegetable (see Mackerel with Rhubarb) can be used for, I always end up with a glut. This year in preparation for that I found a good recipe for a rhubarb and vodka infusion that I’m going to have to try, although I’m not sure I can wait that long…
Makes 1 litre – Gluten Free*
1 litre vodka
4 rhubarb sticks (ripe red not green ones)
½ lemon, zest only
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbsp sugar
Crush rhubarb with a mortar and pestle and place in a kilner jar with sugar and leave to macerate for two days.
Add the cloves, cinnamon and zest and cover with vodka.
Leave the jar in a cool dark place for 3 weeks, but shake daily.
Filter through muslin, re-bottle and leave for 3 months before drinking.
Serve responsibly with tonic over ice or as a base to a Rhubarb-tini
*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as manufactures change the base ingredients of their products frequently.
After making up a batch of Lime Infused Vodka, I was left with whole batch of de-zested fruit. Rather than just throwing them away or quartering, bagging them up and freezing them for fruit ice cubes for drinks, I decided to make Granita (a semi-frozed Siciliana water ice dessert). This Lime Granita is zesty and cleanses the palette like a sorbet and is easy to make!
It’s also brilliant as the base of frozen Margaritas, just scoop into a salt rimmed glass and add Tequila…..
250 gm sugar
Juice of 12-14 Limes
Zest of 1 Lime
1 ltr water
Make a stock syrup by combining the water, sugar and Lime zest together in a saucepan and bringing to the boil.
Simmer for 5 mins and then allow to cool
Combine the stock syrup and Lime juice in a shallow freezer proof container. Spread of more than one rather than filling too deeply.
Freeze for 2 hours.
Now comes the repetative bit, it’s worth it tho. Every 15-30mins rake it with a fork so that it breaks up into little grainy ice crystals. Once the entire mixture is frozen, but grainy and separated it’s ready to eat.
Once you’ve made it, the Granita can be left in the freezer but you’ll need to rake it up before serving.
On a trip to the local supermarket I noticed a basket of limes, all reduced to 10 pence. The idea of a lime infused vodka came instantly to mind. What’s more this recipe only uses the zest, so I used the pulp to make a Lime Granita too, double bubble!
This flavoured vodka is great for mixing with Coke.
1 bottle of vodka
Wash the limes under warm water, to get rid of any wax coating
Removed the lime zest, (making sure that you don’t get any of the pith as it will make the taste bitter). This can be done with a zester or with a knife if you use a knife shred the bigger pieces of lime to increase the surface area.
Put the lime zest into a sterile bottle or Kilner jar
pour over the vodka and store in a dark, cool place for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking frequently.
Strain vodka through muslin or a coffee filter and bottle into a clean bottle.
The lime zest will lose it’s vivid green colour and the vodka will take on a pale green hue