Vintage Rhubarb Cocktail Recipes from the Apple Orphanage
Guest posting today on Lovely Greens is Charlotte Traynor of the Apple Orphanage. Known on the Isle of Man for their locally pressed apple juice and artisan cider, Charlotte and her partner Will have expanded their range in the past year and now offer my favourite of their products, Rhubarb Pressé. It’s a tart and sweet sparkling drink that’s just begging to be transformed into delicious boozy treats! In this piece, Charlotte shares two vintage inspired cocktail recipes that use their pressé and also shares instructions on how to make a simple rhubarb syrup for those who don’t have access to their product.
There’s nothing quite like seeing those first crumpled rhubarb leaves emerge from the earth to signify that Spring is finally here!
Rhubarb is a stalwart fruit of the traditional British garden (well, veg, but I think despite it’s lack of seeds rhubarb has definitely earned it’s place alongside the best of fruits), yet is often underrated, labelled as lacking in versatility or simply old fashioned.
Well if it’s old fashioned for a plant to grow well and taste delicious, then bring on old-fashioned! No-one could object to a classic rhubarb crumble, or even a slightly more adventurous rhubarb jam, but if you feel like rhubarb can do more then try out one of these sumptuous Spring cocktails that will bring rhubarb kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
The Rhubarb Sour
Rhubarb alone is quintessentially tart, but only the bravest of folk have ever dared to use it without sugar. This refreshing, savoury cocktail is a wonderful way to celebrate that fine line between sweet and sour that rhubarb excels at! Simple and ridiculously easy to make, this is a must to kick-start those first, slightly chilly, barbecues of the year.
30ml Lime juice
110ml Rhubarb Pressé*
a few drops of rhubarb (or Angustoura) bitters
Lime to garnish
1. Pour all ingredients into an ice-packed cocktail shaker (Adcraft BAR-3PC 3 Piece, 28 oz Capacity, Mirror Finish, Stainless Steel Bar Shaker Set) and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
2. Strain into a rock glass filled with ice. Finish off with a slice of lime.
Rhubarb Ramos Gin Fizz
A twist on the old 19th Century classic, a smooth, creamy cocktail that’s surprisingly refreshing; a real treat.
This is a delicious cocktail with great quality ingredients; try and track down cream from your local dairy and fresh, free-range eggs from a local farm – your cocktail will be that much more delicious for it. I’ve infused my gin with fennel to give an extra aniseed kick, but this recipe works just as well without, or have a play with some other ingredients to infuse your gin with – your imagination is the limit!
15ml lime juice
15ml lemon juice
110ml Rhubarb Pressé*
30ml double cream
1 (free-range) egg white
finely chopped fresh fennel
First, prepare your gin. Add the fennel and gin to a large glass. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle the fennel for a couple of minutes. Let the infusion sit for about an hour (the longer you leave it the stronger the infusion will be).
Combine all ingredients except ice and pressé in a cocktail shaker (Adcraft BAR-3PC 3 Piece, 28 oz Capacity, Mirror Finish, Stainless Steel Bar Shaker Set) and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Add ice to the shaker and shake a further 30 seconds. Strain into a tall chilled glass and top up with Rhubarb pressé.
Top with a sprig of fennel, sit back and enjoy!
*I’ve used our own Apple Orphanage Rhubarb Pressé in the recipes, but if you’re not on the Isle of Man and can’t find a similar product, you can substitute this for homemade rhubarb syrup and soda water.
To make your rhubarb syrup: cut 450g rhubarb stalks into small pieces and 200g of sugar, 400ml of water and simmer for a half hour. Strain into a glass container with a lid and refrigerate. When chilled, get cocktailing!
Charlotte Traynor and her partner Will are based on a coastal farm just north of Peel on the Isle of Man. It’s there that they’ve started planting an apple orchard and have put in place a local apple and rhubarb exchange. Anyone can drop by with their surplus fruit and exchange it against freshly pressed juice and pressé. For more information, visit their website.