The Brewing Shed

Rhubarb and vanilla liqueur: our easy recipe

rhubarb and vodka infusion

With Covid-19 forcing people to spend their days at home there has been a sudden surge of interest in gardening. At this time of year there are plenty of tasks to be getting on with, but little in the way of harvests. Unless you have a rhubarb plant.

This fruity vegetable is one of our saviours, giving us early spring pickings so we can enjoy the taste of our home grown efforts. And if you think its use is just restricted to crumbles, then you’re in for a treat – because it’s one of the best booze-making ingredients we know (along with a few other uses which we run through here).

To give you something to do when you head back inside from the garden we’ve reproduced our ace rhubarb and vanilla liqueur from our book Brew it Yourself. We’ve also included a PDF from the book for anyone who wants to download it, print it out or share with their friends.

Enjoy the recipe and, most importantly, stay safe.

Our easy rhubarb and vanilla liqueur recipe


2 good-sized sticks, or 4 small sticks, of rhubarb (roughly 250g/9oz), chopped into small pieces

220g/7¾oz/1 cup white sugar

1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthways to expose the seeds

Zest of ½ an orange

1 x 70cl bottle of vodka


1. Put the chopped rhubarb in a jar with the sugar, and leave for 24 hours.

2. By now the sugar will have got to work extracting the rhubarb juice, so you can add the rest of the ingredients, including the whole vanilla pod. Cover everything with the vodka.

3. Shake the jar to help dissolve the sugar, and leave it in a cool place away from direct sunlight. You’ll probably have to give the jar a few more shakes in the first few days to make sure all the sugar has dissolved.

4. Ideally this mixture needs around 2 months to mature before bottling and the liqueur will continue to mellow and improve with age once in the bottle.

Serving suggestions

For the perfect rhubarb and custard liqueur, combine with egg-nog at a ratio of three shots of egg-nog to one shot of rhubarb and vanilla liqueur. Alternatively, splash the liqueur into real custard and pour it over the dessert of your choice.


Drag the PDF below onto your desktop or click here to download


  • Nick & Rich,
    I bought your brewing book a few years back and have enjoyed a few recipes. I ordered your “Wild Tea” book a few days ago and am eagerly awaiting delivery. I saw your free resource label for “Rhubarb Gin” but I don’t have a recipe, it’s not in your book, do you have one that you can send to me, please?

    • Thanks for getting in touch Nick
      We don’t have a rhubarb gin recipe so I would suggest it’s time to experiment!
      Try dropping a few chunks of rhubarb into a bottle of gin and leaving it for a few days. Taste. If it needs more flavour, add more chunks and leave for a few more days. Repeat until you’re happy with the flavour.
      Let us know how you get on!

Leave a Comment