Friday, 25 May 2012

Original Cocktail Inventions, part 1: Yorkshire Guilt

The real deal
You may remember from my Has Anyone Ever Invented a Cocktail? feature that prior to inventing the Straw Donkey, my original intention was actually to invent a Yorkshire-themed cocktail. I had made a list of potential ingredients, but thought that I would have to put experiments on hold until rhubarb came into season. It turns out I was wrong; you can buy tinned rhubarb in Tesco.

What follows is an account of the making of the drink I decided to call Yorkshire Guilt. The name comes from a phrase coined by my work colleague, Bev. She is actually my second cousin (we learned after two years of working together), and therefore also of Yorkshire origin, and what she is referring to is the practice of assuming guilt for something that one cannot possibly be responsible for. I’m sure it’s not a specifically Yorkshire trait, but we refer to it that way, and it seemed like a good name for an alcoholic drink.

Early attempt
My first attempts were drinkable, but not entirely satisfactory – it was not a drink I’d be inclined to return to. I muddled the tinned rhubarb chunks, then cracked some ice and added 103 Brandy de Jerez and 2 tsp of sugar syrup before topping up with a little ginger wine. It wasn't to my taste, so next I tried replacing the ginger wine with ginger ale, in the style of a mojito. Still dissatisfied, I tried replacing the ginger ale with pineapple juice, and adding sugar instead of sugar syrup. It wasn't bad, but not as good as I was aiming for. Part of the problem was that the rhubarb was blocking up the straw. The next thing would be to blend the rhubarb.

Two experiments
Phase two: after some deliberation I decided to empty the whole tin of rhubarb pieces into the blender, including the syrup. I just blended this up and placed it in a jar in the fridge to draw upon for future experimentation.
with Blue Curacao

Results with the rhubarb were more pleasing. I shook 100ml of rhubarb puree with two measures of dark rum (Lamb's Navy Rum, in place of the 103 Brandy de Jerez), 1 measure of Blue Curacao and 1 measure of lemon juice with 5 ice cubes. It resulted in a fantastic colour, and was enjoyable. I still felt something was missing however, and decided more citrus was required.

Drink n' fixings
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make another one of these, as that one saw the last of the blue curacao. Next time I used Triple Sec instead, and replaced the measure of lemon juice with two measures of lime juice. I thought this was it, but the last time I made it (with the last of the rhubarb puree), I used a little more of the puree, and decided this was better still. So the final recipe goes:

Blend a whole tin of rhubarb pieces, with the syrup. Store in the fridge. Then shake the following until a frost forms:

150ml rhubarb puree
Close-up of the finished article      
2 measures dark rum
1 measure Triple Sec
2 measures lime juice
5 ice cubes

Empty the whole lot into a glass. Enjoy.

So, give it a go, pass it around, tell me what you think. I’ll be planning to bring this one out on any occasion we have guests in future, so be warned. It’s ok if you don’t like it.

So! It's the weekend again, and it looks like it's going to be a hot one, so no doubt you'll be hosting, or be invited to a barbeque, in that usual British, early summer panic to enjoy it before it's over. It's hot! Get the barbeque out! This might be the last chance we get! 

I know I'm going to one, and I learned today that there will be rhubarb bellinis, so I'll be taking more than a passing interest in how those turn out. Hopefully my rhubarb cocktail won't pale in comparison.

I've also got a wedding reception to attend tonight, so I'll have to be making mental notes, as you do when you're planning a wedding of your own.

Enjoy the sunshine then, and hopefully I'll see you next week - in a purely figurative sense, of course.


  1. But rhubarb is in season.... at least it is in Yorkshire!!

  2. It wasn't when I started the planning. If you notice, the first paragraph is written very much in the past tense - "I HAD made a potential list of ingredients", "I WOULD HAVE TO put experiments on hold".

    Thanks for reading! Now try the cocktail.

  3. Bandy and Mojitos don't really say Yorkshire to me. Here's my recipe: A pint of bitter, a cup of Yorkshire tea, coal dust and a yorksire pudding as a garnish.

  4. It's the rhubarb that's the Yorkshire link.