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Rhubarb Flavoured Gin

Rhubarb gin: a libation that marries the quintessentially British ingredient, rhubarb, with one of the nation’s most beloved spirits, gin. This dynamic pairing results in a vibrant, tangy, and often sweet gin that’s won over many enthusiasts across the UK and beyond. The curiosity behind this particular flavoured gin lies in its idyllic balance between the tartness of rhubarb and the traditional botanicals of gin, yielding a spirit that’s both refreshingly unique and familiar.

Historical Roots

Rhubarb, originally used for medicinal purposes in ancient China, found its way to Europe and eventually Britain, becoming a staple in British pies, crumbles, and conserves. It was only a matter of time until it infiltrated the gin world, given the British penchant for experimentation with botanicals and flavours in gin production. Consequently, the marriage between gin and rhubarb became somewhat of a culinary affair, with the sharpness of rhubarb providing a delightful contrast to the juniper-led profiles of traditional gin.

Crafting Rhubarb Gin

Creating rhubarb gin involves infusing gin with rhubarb, often along with other ingredients such as vanilla or berries, to balance the tartness and sugar to add sweetness. Some distilleries may use rhubarb in the distillation process itself, whilst others might prefer to infuse it post-distillation. The rhubarb can be cooked down into a syrup before being combined with the gin, or it might be used raw, often depending on the desired flavour outcome.

This innovative spirit typically takes on a pink hue, courtesy of the rhubarb, and can vary from a pale rose to a vibrant pink, depending on the variety and preparation of the rhubarb used.

Rhubarb Gin in Cocktails

Rhubarb gin’s vivid flavour profile makes it an exciting base for various cocktails. In a classic gin and tonic, the tartness of rhubarb gin provides a refreshing twist, while its sweetness can balance out the bitterness of the tonic.

For those who prefer their drinks on the sweeter side, rhubarb gin can be used in cocktails like a Rhubarb Fizz – combining rhubarb gin with lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water, or perhaps a Rhubarb Martini, where it's mixed with vermouth and garnished with a rhubarb ribbon.

Reflecting on Rhubarb Gin

Rhubarb gin mirrors a kind of British innovation, honouring traditional tastes while daring to explore new horizons. It not only serves as a nostalgic nod to the cherished use of rhubarb in British cuisine but also highlights the adventurous spirit of the UK’s gin producers, continuously seeking to intrigue and delight palates with innovative flavour combinations.

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