Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin {Featuring Opies}

Gin has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence over the last few years hasn’t it?

Even some of the most staunch gin-haters seem to have had their heads’ turned by the weird and wonderful flavours that are coming onto the market.

There are new artisan distillers popping up, left right and centre, and gins are infused with everything from seaweed to ants.

Yep; you did read that right. Ants.

I’ve written many times before about my love of gin; everything from our gin bar, to my favourite gin-based cocktail.

But I’ve never had a go at making my own flavoured gin, before now.

I’ve left the ant’s nest alone, mind you.

My gin is flavoured with something a little more palatable.

The Spoils of Summer

We’ve had a bumper crop of rhubarb again this year.

The high temperatures and lack of rain don’t seem to have made a jot of difference to my grandad’s old rhubarb plant and — if anything — we seem to have had more fruit than usual.

Generally, I’ll make my rhubarb cordial recipe a couple of times throughout the summer but, this year, there’s such an abundance of rosy stems, I thought I’d try my hand at making Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin as well.

Now, I’d like to say that the ginger was homegrown too but I’d be lying! I used one of my favourite store-cupboard essentials; Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup.

It’s one of the most versatile things we have in the larder and we use it for all sorts of things — both sweet and savoury. It’s brilliant in cookies, stir fry, steamed pudding.

I’ve even used it to spice up a Hot Toddy. But, up until now, I’ve never used it in an alcoholic drink. 

Rhubarb and ginger is such a classic combination — a match made in heaven — and combined with gin, it’s like heaven in a glass.

Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin Recipe ingredients
All the ingredients you’ll need for homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin

Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin Recipe

You will need:
350g jar of Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup
150ml water
6 ripe stalks of rhubarb
300g caster sugar
1 litre bottle of inexpensive gin (I used Gordons)
A muslin cloth for straining the liquid through
A little bit of patience

Method:

1. Wash the rhubarb and cut into little chunks.

Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin — washing the rhubarb

2. Chop up all of the stem ginger balls into thirds and pop into a saucepan, followed by all of the the syrup from the ginger jar.

3. Add the rhubarb, the water and the sugar to the pan and stir together on a low heat.

4. When the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb is beginning to soften, take off the heat and leave to cool.

5. Once cooled, pour the mixture into a sterilised Kilner jar or similar. We popped ours into the oven on a low heat, to sterilise them, but you can wash them in boiling water too and that will do the trick.

6. Pour the gin over the top of the ginger and rhubarb mix. Pop on the lid and leave to steep for one week.

After seven days, taste the mixture and if it’s gingery enough for your palate, remove the stem ginger from the jar and pop the lid back on.

This really is down to personal preference — I LOVE the heat of ginger so a week was perfect for me. It may be that you try it every couple of days until it reaches the flavour you like. Or add less to begin with…

7. This is where a good dose of patience comes in!!

It’s really hard not to just dig in and drink it all; but if you leave it alone for 4-6 weeks — for the rhubarb juices to mingle with the gin and ginger — it really is worth it.

8. I managed 4 weeks until I caved in and decanted it!

I passed it through a muslin cloth, into a jug. Once it’s passed through the cloth, the liquid is clear and rosy.

9. Finally, pour your homemade ginger and rhubarb gin into a pretty bottle.

10. Serve with tonic or soda water (or neat) with plenty of ice. And enjoy.

Et Voila — Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin

The perfect tipple for festivals and summer parties; and a brilliant way of using up that jar of ginger you may have left over from Christmas!

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How to make Homemade Ginger and Rhubarb Gin by The Twinkle Diaries

Opies Chinese Stem Ginger in Syrup is available from Tesco and all other good supermarkets. This post is in partnership with Opies as part of their #FreeTheGinger campaign.

Although this is a collaborative post all thoughts, words and images — as ever — are entirely my own. 

How to make a turbo gin and tonic

I’ve spoken often about my love of gin.

I’ve created a little gin bar at home; made sloe gin, gin cocktails — including a little one called The Jubarb; a gin and rhubarb cocktail, perfect for balmy summer evenings.

There’s been such a resurgence recently, it’s definitely the drink of the moment.

Which is great for a gin-head like me.

Instead of being faced with the limited option of Gordons or Bombay Sapphire (if you’re lucky); and I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with either but it’s always nice to have a little more choice. These days even the tiniest, most rural, watering hole or restaurant has a good selection of artisan gins behind the bar.

So where I’ve tried a myriad of different types of gin — containing various different botanicals — generally speaking I drink it very simply. With tonic and ice.

And lemon, lime or cucumber; depending on what suits.

So imagine my excitement, reading an article a few weeks ago,  that declared that there was a new kid in town.

The turbo gin and tonic

Gin, tonic and coffee.

Coffee? Whaaa??

How to make a turbo gin and tonic
The turbo gin and tonic; gin, tonic and er, coffee???

Cue mucho excited discussion between me and Mr D, debating on which would be the best of our gins to try this new taste sensation.

It’s recommended that a gin with a heavy juniper base — or zingy citrusy flavours — would be preferable. So, with that in mind, we chose our current favourite; Silent Pool.

This lovely spirit has been top of my ginny hit parade for a while now; it has lovely, fresh citrusy notes and the sweet, smooth finish that I like in a gin.

We fell down slightly; the original turbo gin and tonic recipe uses Sandows Cold Brew Coffee which we didn’t have, so I brewed up my fave beans — Guatemala Antigua from Starbucks — in the Moka expresso pot and left it overnight to steep.

How to make a turbo gin and tonic
Fave gin of the moment; Silent Pool
How to make a turbo gin and tonic
turbo gin and tonic o’clock
How to make a turbo gin and tonic
We didn’t have Sandows, so made our own expresso mix

How to make a turbo gin and tonic

Turbo Gin and Tonic Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 35ml gin — I used Silent Pool
  • 10ml cold brew coffee (Sandows is recommended but we made our own)
  • Tonic Water
  • Twist of lemon peel to garnish (and I threw in a few coffee beans for decorative effect)

The method could not be simpler.

Fill a long glass with ice.

Add your gin, followed by the cold coffee.

Top up with tonic water and garnish with the lemon peel (and coffee beans if you’re feeling fancy).

How to make a turbo gin and tonic
A turbo gin and tonic — gin, tonic and coffee
How to make a turbo gin and tonic
Add a twist of lemon peel
How to make a turbo gin and tonic
And I threw in a handful of coffee beans for good measure

And the verdict?

Aah be still my beating heart (although that maybe the caffeine getting to work).

Yes. Thumbs up from over here.

Mr D preferred less coffee to the original recipe; I preferred a twist of orange to lemon.

But what I will say, is that it’s like nothing I’ve ever tried before. You initially taste the gin and tonic but the finish on it is extraordinary.

Very sweet and — less like coffee — it has more of a liquorice or aniseed flavour.

It’s certainly not something I would drink on a regular basis but for an occasional pick me up — before a night out perhaps — the turbo gin and tonic is a winner. Or should that be gin-ner?

How to make a turbo gin and tonic
Turbo gin and tonic — done — tick

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Mothers Ruin | Creating a gin bar at home

Aaah gin. They call it ‘Mother’s Ruin’ don’t they?

In the 1700s it was considered a poor man’s drink as it was so cheap. To the extent that some workers were given gin in lieu of wages.

By 1743 the equivalent of 10 litres of gin per person, per year, was being drunk in England.

In fact, it was so widely consumed that there was an epidemic of drunk and disorderly behaviour in London. And the government imposed a tax — The Gin Act 1751 — to try to reduce the effects of it.

These days it’s a little more gentile.

Mostly.

Creating a gin bar at home

Did Someone Say Gin O’Clock?

‘Gin o’clock’ has become the by-word for relaxation. And with numerous artisan gin companies popping up all over the place — distilling small batches of the juniper infused spirit — gin is enjoying a heady revival.

I’ve said on many occasions that it’s my favourite tipple. It actually states ‘gin lover’ in my bio on my social media channels; and I think it would be fair to say that I love the stuff.

I created a little gin based cocktail last year — The Jubarb — and my boy and I have an ongoing competition to see who can outdo each other by bringing home the ‘best’ or most unusual gin.

We’ve had Dodd’s, Caorunn, Aviation. Plus one from Portugal that was DELICIOUS but I can’t remember the name of. To name just a few.

My favourite used to be Brecon, by the Penderyn Distillery. Although that’s recently been knocked off the top spot by Adnams Copper House Dry Gin; an explosion of ginny, florally, citrusy goodness with a gorgeous sweet finish.

(You’ll note the lack of an Adnams bottle in my photos — it doesn’t tend to last too long once it crosses the threshold of our home).

Creating a gin bar at home

Creating a gin bar at home

The Gin Bar

We’ve usually got a few bottles of ‘mothers ruin’ stashed in our drinks cupboard; but then some of the bottles are so pretty that it’s a real shame to hide them away.

Cue a mission to find a suitable table to create a little gin bar at home.

I found the perfect one at HomeSense — a bargainous £39.99 with fold away legs and a removable butler’s tray top.

I’ve seen cheaper alternatives but I loved the reverse dipped legs  and white/pale wood colourway. Plus if we’re ever out of gin — *snorts* — it doubles up nicely as a cute lamp table.

Creating a gin bar at home

Creating a gin bar at home

Creating a gin bar at home

So there we have it.

The perfect little display table for our gin collection and large enough to house all the other accoutrements needed to make a G&T.

Apart from it’s not *quite* big enough to accommodate a mini drinks fridge/freezer for the ice and tonic.

Ho-hum.

A girl can’t have everything, now, can she?

Creating a gin bar at home

Creating a gin bar at home

Creating a gin bar at home

This is a collaborative post but as ever all thoughts, words and images, as ever, are entirely my own.

The Jubarb {a gin and rhubarb cocktail}

What could be better, in the heat of midsummer than a gin and rhubarb cocktail? Recently we made some homemade cordial with the rhubarb that we grow in our veggie patch. It’s a lovely alternative to pies and crumbles and a fabulous way of using the endless supply of rosy tinged stalks, that we seem to find ourselves with, over the summer months.

Super easy to make — and even easier to drink — the bottles don’t seem to last very long at all.

The cordial is tart, refreshing and perfect with sparkling water on a hot day.

However…

As a die-hard gin lover, it struck me that this would also make a VERY good accompaniment to my favourite tipple.

So with a little trial and error my gin and rhubarb cocktail — AKA ‘The Jubarb’ — was born!

The Jubarb {A gin and rhubarb cocktail}

A gin and rhubarb cocktail

Here is the recipe.

  • Crushed ice
  • 50ml gin — I used Bombay Sapphire
  • 50ml homemade rhubarb cordial — find the recipe here
  • Soda water (or if you’re feeling really decadent you can forego the water and top up with sparkling wine. We used Prosecco and it was heavenly)

The method could not be simpler.

Half fill a pretty glass with crushed ice (you can sugar the rim first, if you want to make it look extra special, but this is optional).

Add your gin,  followed by an equal  measure of rhubarb cordial.

Top up with soda water — give it a stir — and serve.

A gin and rhubarb cocktail

A gin and rhubarb cocktail

A gin and rhubarb cocktail

a gin and rhubarb cocktail

Gin-tastic!

We had supper with our neighbours, the day that we devised our gin and rhubarb cocktail and — even though one of our neighbours is generally not keen on gin — it was a really big hit!

I think we can say that The Jubarb is a resounding success.

It also helps when you serve a cocktail in beautiful glasses and the ones I used were from one of my favourite online homes and interiors retailers — Rose and Grey.

I was asked to compete in another of their fantastic styling challenge recently — remember the one I did back in March for the gorgeous jam jar vases?  Well this was along the same lines, this time using their cocktail gift boxes.

These sweet little sets contain everything you need for cocktails à deux. Glasses, straws, coasters, and stirrers — even little paper parasols — great for summer drinks parties and perfect for my gin and rhubarb cocktail.

Do you have a favourite cocktail — or have you ever created one of your own? I’d love to hear what it is :)

I was asked to join in with Rose & Grey’s styling challenge and was kindly sent a Margarita Cocktail Gift Set, to complete my task. You can buy the set — plus lots of other lovely products — from their website. Pop along and have a look www.roseandgrey.co.uk

All photos, thoughts and words are my own.

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35 weeks and 6 days | Green goo and gin

Things that have happened so far today:

1. I have wiped green, liquefied snot from a nose other than my own. Two noses in fact.

2. I have had snot wiped on me — again not my own.

3. I have administered much Calpol. 

4. I have had food wiped in my hair. Green food. At least it matched the snot.

5. I have been weed on.

6. I have dealt with not one, not two but THREE poosplosions. These were, thankfully, not green.

7. I have been vommed on.

It is now 4 o’clock in the afternoon, so there is still a lot of today left!! Given the above list, I am just wondering what other things could possibly happen to me?

I am trying not to think about it too much.

Curses to this lurgy — my poor babies are both full of a cold and I don’t feel too great either — I think I am in need of a stiff gin already.

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