We have have some rhubarb in the garden that’s been growing for a few years. This year I was brainstorming ideas of what to do with it (besides pie, crisp, cobbler and compote) and thought, What if I infuse some vodka? After all, the rhubarb Dry Soda is pretty good. Wouldn’t that make a nice flavor for cocktails.
I’m not the first to think of this, and found lots of people’s recipes to follow. One suggested making a compote and then infusing vodka with that, but I didn’t like the idea of adding all that sugar. Most others just stuck the rhubarb in the vodka and infused it for a day or a week. I thought I’d run an experiment and take tasting notes as it infused.
I started with one large stalk of rhubarb, well cleaned, and a fifth of Stoli. I put this all in a Ball jar and let it sit.
Day 1 Uck. Super sour and sort of ‘green’. A very light hint of rhubarb and a strong ‘hint’ of the alcohol. Granted I wouldn’t normally taste Stoli straight. On ice it wasn’t much better.
Day 2 Still really sour. Concerned that this may not be something that anyone wants to drink. Did I waste a bottle of vodka?
Day 3 Hmm. Well, it’s not as sour, so I have hope. I can start to taste the rhubarb-ness and not so much the vodka-ness. On ice, helps mellow the vodka some.
Day 4 Now we’re talking. Tastes like rhubarb pie. Rich and somewhat sweet rhubarb flavor. Still sour, but that rhubarb-y sweetness without the sugar. Mixed one-to-one with vanilla vodka (had to find some way to use that up) and topped with soda over ice. Now that’s a yummy pie-like summer cocktail. Great for a picnic dinner in the garden.
Day 5 Much like yesterday — rhubarb pie. Yeah, it’s sour, but in a good way. I think it’s time to decant this, put it in a nice clean bottle and make a label for it.