Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fizzed rhubarb

The other day I facebooked:

Ooh, how nice! I was just handed a ice-tinkly glass of gin and homemade rhubarb fizz. It's the nicest shade of pink.

And it was too. I drank it before I thought to take a photo, so I decided to recreate it last night.

Isn't it pretty?

It led to a flurry of people wanting the recipe of the fizz. I have to say that it's made by Best Beloved, not myself. That's why he's called Best Beloved. Apparently it's a recipe by Tasmanian preserving expert Sally Wise, from her book A Year in a Bottle. That title makes me think of the novel Brave New World, but Ms Wise is the only author to whom my partner has ever written a fan letter. And she wrote back, the saucy minx. He has all of her books.

So here it is (with annotations):

875g (1lb, 15oz) rhubarb, chopped
875g (1lb, 15oz) sugar
1 lemon, chopped
200ml (7fl oz) white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
18 cups cold water

Combine everything in a food-safe bucket*, cover loosely with a tea-towel and leave for 48 hours. BB recommends putting a colander or something over the fruit to keep it under the waterline in the bucket, as (especially when it's hot) the fruit can go mouldy.**

Strain (BB strains through basic muslin (cheesecloth), which he buys in bulk at the local haberdashery) and pour into very clean bottles*** and seal.

The fizz will be ready in two weeks. Chill well before serving. Open carefully.

GOES VERY WELL WITH GIN OR VODKA. Children like it too, but only if you can spare it.

Makes approx. 4.5 litres (156fl oz)

You can do this with other fruit as well, berries and the like.

* This is a bucket that hasn't been used for cleaning products, not a bucket a-la Mr Creosote. We bought a special food-safe bucket and wrote in large friendly letters FOOD ONLY on it. That seems to work, but I can't vouch for pre-literate children and cats.

** It can sometimes develop a weird-looking scum that looks a bit like mould but isn't. BB chucked a couple of batches until we could tell the difference. The colander thingy helps.

*** We use 1.5litre plastic soft drink bottles, washed and kept once we've finished with them. Don't overfill, in fact leave some space for the gas that will build up. Don't shake the bottles! Store in a cool place, but not the fridge (until it's ready).


ronnie said...

sounds heavenly... I'm in!

Elephant's Child said...

Yummo. If our rhubarb hasn't gone to god I might have to test drive this one.

Zann said...

Love rhubarb and my sister-in-law grows a good crop so going to give this a go, thanks for sharing

Richyvk said...

Tried your recipe. It's been 48hrs and it's looking about the same as it did at the start. Is this normal do you think??

Ampersand Duck said...

Have you bottled it yet, R? Apparently it only gets fizzy in the bottles (which is why your shouldn't overfill them!).

Richard Vankoningsveld said...

Bottled it last night. Ended up looking quite beautiful - lovely colour, not too cloudy. Tasted pretty darn good too, I can only imagine it will get better! :)

Ampersand Duck said...

Oh yum, enjoy!