Ever since I saw Aoife's talk at Eat Cambridge I've become really interested in infused spirits and cocktails - well who wouldn't? I love a good cocktail but I lack experience and knowledge when it comes to making them - I have one stalwart, a magarita, but that is as far as it goes, apart from adding ice to a spirit.
I have a sweet tooth and I don't like things that taste too strong, so brandy, whisky, gin and neat vodka are out. I like amaretto and I love fruit vodkas - probably because they don't taste too alcoholic. I've previously made Damson Vodka before which was a great hit at Christmas time, it was dead easy to make and tasted like Ribena, very drinkable indeed. I've also made cherry vodka, so despite knowing how to make these spirits I didn't revisit them, I think because of my lack of knowledge in how to make a good cocktail.
So along came Aoife with her expert knowledge and delicious sounding but easy to follow recipes. I love her Friday cocktail posts, and swoon over them whilst drinking another glass of disappointing wine (my wine knowledge is terrible) or just a cup of tea.
Rhubarb vodka is just as easy as the other flavoured spirits I've made before, chop up some rhubarb, chuck in some sugar, wait a few days, add in some vodka and then wait (an agonising) two weeks. Strain into a bottle and then gather your ingredients and make a cocktail!
I made Aoife's Rhubarb Vodka with Thyme & Ginger Syrup cocktail yesterday evening, you can find her recipe here. The sugar syrup seems a little daunting but it is really easy, it takes minutes to make and you just have to wait an hour to let the herbs and ginger infuse. It's finished with lemon juice and bitters. I didn't have any bitters but it worked ok. It was very sweet so I think the bitters might help, but it was perfect for my sweet tooth.
I've got some lemon thyme and also some mint growing in pots in my garden so I'm looking forward to many more cocktails over the summer, and beyond. I'll definitely be revisiting more flavoured vodkas when the greengages at the bottom of the garden are ready.
I've got some syrup left for Eurovision drinks tonight, so I'm looking forward to another pink drink to go with the campness that is Eurovision!