Four bottles of homemade Rhubarb schnapps.

In the past, this has happened: I blink, and rhubarb season passes. But in recent years, rhubarb season hasn’t been so fleeting. Rhubarb, in fact, is still in abundance at our little co-op, and I keep buying bundles of it because I found a rhubarb cake I absolutely love (more soon), but also because I love rhubarb schnapps: it is so refreshing poured over ice, topped with seltzer, spritzed with lime.

I’m on my third batch this summer, and I’ve discovered a few things:

  1. In about 3 to 4 weeks (as opposed to 6, which is what the original recipe suggests), it’s done and ready to be bottled.
  2. These grolsch-style bottles are a nice way to store the finished schnapps in.
  3. If you find, after a few days, the hue of the schnapps is barely pink, go find some more rhubarb with pink stalks. Chop it up, and add the pieces to your brew. I did this with my most recent batch. Note: To avoid the hassle, start with the pinkest rhubarb stalks you can find.
  4. If you’re going through the effort, you may as well make a double or near-double batch (see notes in recipe).
  5. Rhubarb schnapps is such a pretty hue and makes a beautiful gift.

I first wrote about this schnapps, (a Nigella recipe), in June four years ago, which still feels late for rhubarb season. The season seems to get longer and longer every year — not sure if this is a good thing or not? — but I can’t say I’m sad to still have access to it. I hope you do, too.

Overhead shot of rhubarb schnapps ingredients: chopped rhubarb, sugar, vodka.

A jar of chopped rhubarb and sugar.

A jar of chopped rhubarb and sugar in a jar, shaken.

A large Mason jar filled with chopped rhubarb, sugar, and vodka.

Jar of rhubarb schnapps in the making: chopped rhubarb, sugar, vodka.

Overhead shot of rhubarb schnapps.

A large jar of rhubarb schnapps.

A jar of rhubarb schnapps with a funnel on top.

Four jars of rhubarb schnapps.

Four bottles of rhubarb schnapps.

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Four bottles of homemade rhubarb schnapps.

Rhubarb Schnapps (Double or Single Recipe)


Description

From Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess 

Recently I made a double batch, which filled 4 of these bottles nicely. It is so pretty and makes such a nice gift—people are always so thrilled.

Here are the proportions for a near-double batch:

  • 3+ lbs. rhubarb to yield about 2.25 lbs. trimmed/cut
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1.75 L bottle vodka

Notes: When I made this recently, I realized after a few days the color had been leeched from the rhubarb but the hue of the schnapps was not very vibrant. This was because I had started with rhubarb that wasn’t very pink to begin with. So, I bought some more rhubarb—the brightest pink stalks I could find—chopped them up and added them to the jar… worked like a charm. SO, try, if you can, to start with pink stalks.


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. rhubarb* to yield about 1 1/4 lbs. once cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 liter vodka, cheap is just fine

* Try to buy the brightest pink stalks you can find. See notes. See notes, too, for a double recipe.


Instructions

  1. Chop the rhubarb and place in a large, sealable jar. Add the sugar. Shake. Add the vodka.
  2. Close the lid, put the jar somewhere cool and dark 3 to 4 weeks and up to 6 months. If you remember, shake the jars every so often.
  3. Strain schnapps into a pitcher; then pour into a bottle or bottles.