Monthly Archives: August 2013

Rhubarb Whiskey Cocktails


I’ve recently become a little obsessed with rhubarb. How is it that such an unattractive-looking plant can yield, with the addition of sugar and spices, a flavour so surprisingly sublime?

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(Some years ago, German friends of ours came to visit and were very taken with Actimel rhubarb yogurt. There is no such thing in Germany as rhubarb yogurt. I’m not sure if this says anything significant about the German nation.)

Back to the here and now. This year’s rhubarb season is over, but thanks to the recipe for Rhubarb Tea Cake on the Wise Words blog, I had some rhubarb cordial in the fridge, crying out to be used. The cordial is a by-product of the rhubarb roasting process, flavoured after roasting with crushed cardamom and vanilla pods, reduced to a syrup on the hob, and left to infuse overnight with the roasted rhubarb.

And what better way to use up rhubarb cordial than in a rhubarb whiskey cocktail? (The recipe I used is the one contained in the tea cake recipe above.)

So I took advantage of a surprise evening nap on the part of my obliging seven-month-old and got to work.

The first task, as with all cocktails, is assembling the ingredients. I love this part. It makes me feel like I have practically made the cocktail already:

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Ingredients for a rhubarb whiskey cocktail. The glasses are Riedel ‘O’ wine tumblers and the board is a Melbourne Breadboard Company camphor laurel cutting board.

Almost instantly, I made a mistake. In my enthusiasm to put my under-used ice crusher to work, I crushed the ice first. I then had to race through the rest of the process so the ice would not melt too much. So, crush the ice last, folks.

The Other Half wanted a cocktail, too, as Other Halves will. So I doubled all the quantities in Mona Wise‘s recipe. (Come to think of it, isn’t it strange that most cocktail recipes – the ones in my Mixology book, anyway – are for one drink only? Even if you’re on your own, you have two, right?)

I took the rhubarb cordial from the fridge with a graceful little skip of delight. (In my head, anyway.) It is almost viscous after the reduction process, flecked with dots of vanilla, cloudy with cardamom, and most deliciously of all, it is a seductive, flaming pink colour:

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I got on with the work of juicing the oranges and lemons. Now for the mixing. In went the crushed ice (not too watery, luckily), citrus juices, rhubarb cordial (you get to drain the glass, woop!), whiskey, bitters, and sprigs of mint. Then a good mix. (I used the blade of the kitchen knife, slattern-fashion.)

I was out of ice at this point, so I couldn’t top up the glasses with crushed ice. The garnished results looked good, nonetheless:

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And they tasted MMM.

PS. Picking up on the German theme from earlier, our Teutonic friends at Lidl are stocking rhubarb, with cheerful disregard for the season. If you can’t wait til next year, you have my blessing to go and get rhubarb from Lidl now. If anyone objects, tell them the internet said so.

Blog Awards Ireland 2013 – I’m nominated!


The longlist for Blog Awards Ireland 2013 has just been published and… Wait Til I Tell You is on it! blog_awards_main_banner

I’m nominated in the Best Arts and Culture Blog category.

The Blog Awards Ireland competition has been running for a few years now. Last year’s winner of the Best Overall Blog award was Wise Words, the hugely popular food blog by run by writer and blogger Mona Wise.

I’m feeling pretty pleased to be associated, however loosely, with Mona. I had the pleasure of meeting her at this year’s Waterford Writers’ Weekend. Not only is she is a great blogger and food writer, she is also a lovely person and very generous with advice and feedback.

I’m also delighted to see many other bloggers whom I follow and chat to also included in this year’s longlist.

The Blog Awards Ireland shortlist is out on September 8th. The winning blogs are announced on September 29th and awards are presented at a ceremony on October 8th.

 

 

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