Monday, January 11, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 8: Creamy rhubarb and vodka cocktail and Rhubarb bellini

Week 8 already - wow, I'm amazed how quickly these first two months have passed. I'm still really enjoying this challenge, but I'd like to evolve how I tackle each week. Currently, I've had either a recipe or a core ingredient in mind and scoured my cookbooks to find a suitable recipe. As the challenge progresses, I'd like to instead choose a cookbook - ideally one I haven't used yet - and find interesting recipes from each. Focus on covering all my books rather than the ingredients!

For this week's sweet theme, I made two recipes from Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie at Home'. Both are tasty alcoholic drinks with rhubarb as the primary ingredient. They were very refreshing in the recent hot temperatures that we've been experiencing here in Hobart!

Creamy Rhubarb and Vodka Cocktail ingredients:
500g rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
100g sugar
Juice of half an orange
2 shots of vodka
1/2 a shot of Galliano
1/2 a shot of cream
1/2 a shot of milk
a handful of icecubes

Place the rhubarb, sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan and put the lid on.
Simmer for a couple of minutes, then remove the lid for a few minutes more until you get a thick, compote consistency.
Pour the rhubarb into a sieve over a bowl and let the liquid drip through. It's this liquid you want (the leftovers in the sieve are lovely with custard).
Put two shots of the liquid into a cocktail shaker with the remaining ingredients and shake it about.
Strain into two cocktail glasses.


Rhubarb bellini ingredients:
300g rhubarb, trimmed and finely sliced
75g sugar
a bottle of bubbly

Put the rhubarb, sugar and a couple of tablespoons of water in a small saucepan.
Put the lid on and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally, until you get a thick compote consistency.m
Whiz up with a hand blender until you have a lovely smooth puree.
Leave to cool, then stir again and divide the puree between 6 glasses. Pour over your bubbly, stirring as you pour, until the glass is 3/4 full.
Top it up with bubbles and you're done.

Both recipes took longer to cook the rhubarb than the recipes hinted at, which might be a bit misleading for people that aren't familiar with cooking the stalks.
They also both specified a particular weight of rhubarb, 'trimmed and chopped'. It's not clear if the weight is pre- or post-trimming, and whether or not the leaves are present would make a significant difference to the amount of usable rhubarb left over. I used post-trimming weight, and the recipes tasted right, so hopefully that was the way to go.
The creamy cocktail specified double-cream, but our local shop didn't have this and I used thickened cream instead. This was fine, and I think you'd have to shake the ingredients heaps if you used double-cream to avoid lumpy bits!

I'll definitely make the bellini again - simple, tasty, and would be great to improve the taste of a not-so-nice bubbly ;)

The next theme: Berry


  1. I've never heard of rhubarb in a cocktail before! That's a funky cocktail glass too!

  2. Hi Bri - I like your idea new of searching for a recipes...think I might have to try this myself! Leigh