Review – Rhuby Rhubarb Liqueur
The Swedes love rhubarb, so much so that they have their own rhubarb festival each year in Sodermanland. And so it seems only right that Rhuby liqueur would hail from a country where these petioles are held in such high regard. The rhubarb used for the liqueur is harvested near the distillery in Aker Styckebruk and then juiced before being added to sugar syrup, vanilla and organic wheat vodka, also produced in Sodermanland. Colour consistency is maintained by filtering to remove the colour of the rhubarb juice then natural colour being added before bottling.
Nose: Boiled rhubarb and custard sweets. Fantastic.
Neat: Boozy liquid rhubarb and custard sweets. Quite extraordinary and fantastically fresh tasting, with the vanilla well judged so as to round out the profile without trying to steal the show.
Mixing: Such short tasting notes are rare for a fan of the the written word like I, but the purity of aroma and flavour is so extraordinary that any further elaboration would be a detraction. If like me, one of your fondest childhood flavours is rhubarb and custard sweets, its going to be a struggle to find anything in the mixing department to beat this liqueur in its neat form. Cocktails do in fact present a bit of a challenge for this liqueur, and as enjoyable as it is neat, it does not make for the most versatile mixer. One challenge is the sweetness which comes not only from the sugar, but also via the impression of sweetness that vanilla brings; the result being that it can easily create imbalance which requires a little skill to correct. Bitterness is consequentially of great assistance here, and even that provided courtesy of quinine in the G+T is sufficient. floral gins are particularly successful as they pick up on the rhubarb character rather than the vanilla. A nice dry white rum combined with rose water in the signature (recipe below) Rhuby Rose should come as no surprise that it is a real tastebud tickler. Frustratingly, this liqueur isn’t one that may be considered widely interchangeable with other liqueurs. Substituted for triple sec in the Margarita it is dominated by the agave notes from the tequila, and it proves too delicate to work in boldly flavoured drinks such as the Martinez in place of Maraschino. Fruity and easy-going drinks need not be less delicious however and the Rhubarb Triangle with its crowd-pleasing apple and gin combo is a solid example. For a full on floral, fruity and vegetal refresher however, the Violette with its exquisite balance of Rhuby, Cachaca and creme de violette lengthened with soda is not to be missed.
Signature Cocktail – Rhuby Rose
3oz Rhuby Liqueur, 2oz White Rum, 3 drops Rose Water.
Stir ingredients with ice and garnish with rose petals.
Rhuby Liqueur is a bold and flavoursome rhubarb liqueur that is rounded perfectly by the judicious use of vanilla. Incredible on its own, it also makes for a delicious cocktail ingredient with carefully mixed.
Rhuby Rhubarb Liqueur is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.