If you're like me and already thinking about Christmas you might want to fruit infuse some booze as a tipple to enjoy over the holiday season. Now is the perfect time to get on it because it needs a couple of months to develop.
Last year I made my own sloe gin, which went down a treat. It was perfect as little gifts in these gorgeous miniature swing top bottles I found on eBay.
I was rattling my brains of something different to sloe berries to use this year.... if you're trying to be creative, I suggest thinking about what is in season at the time, some ideas include cherries, cranberries, lemon and strawberries. Try mixing with a complimentary spice such as ginger, vanilla or nutmeg. I had some rhubarb left over in the freezer from earlier in the year and decided to try rhubarb, orange and ginger. You could always do it without the orange or ginger depending on your taste.
Ingredients (can be increased/decreased depending on how much you want to make)
* 375 ml of gin - I used Gordon's, but any mid range brand will be fine
* 250 g rhubarb
* 150 g caster sugar
* Approx 2 cm of fresh ginger
* 1 orange zest
* Chop rhubarb in to chucks roughly 1cm x 1cm and put in a large air tight container. I recommend a Kilner Jar which you can buy in Homebase.
* Peel and slice the ginger and add to jar.
* Zest 1 orange, you can do this using a fine grater, add to jar.
* Add the gin to the other ingredients (optional - pour yourself a G&T).
* Shake well and store somewhere dark and cool such as the back of one of your kitchen cupboards!
* Every day for 1 week shake the bottle, this ensures the sugar doesn't solidify.
* Then once a week, or when your remember give the jar a quick shake to help the infusion. Give it a try every now and again until you think it tastes good, this will be anything between 3 - 8 weeks depending on how intense a flavour you want.
* When it's ready, remove all the fruit using a sieve. Then pass the liquid through a very fine muslin to get rid of sediment.
So, see you in a few weeks my little rhubarb gin baby!
If gin doesn't tickle your fancy try using another white spirit like rum or vodka. And bear in mind the stronger the infusing ingredient the less time it needs, if in doubt just keep testing - but try not to drink it all! What is your boozy tipple going to be this year?