A month or so ago, inspired by a trip to the farmer’s market, I wanted to make some strawberry rhubarb gin. I decided to do a poor man’s justino. Since my dad didn’t love me enough to be an Arab sheik and create me a billion dollar trust fund with which to buy centrifuges, I have to do it on the countertop. I’ve mentioned it here before but I’m lazy and have been drinking so the basic process is as follows:
1. Blend together your liquor, fruit, and Pectinex enzyme, just like you would any justino.
2. Because your parents didn’t love you enough to bequeath you centrifuge money, leave the result sitting on your countertop until they separate.
3. Pour through coffee filters, all the while cursing your dad. It’ll take you a few as they clog quickly. It helps if you carefully first pour through the clear top stuff. It’ll go right through. When you get to the cloudy part, strain through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer. That’ll save you a little time, but not as much as if your dad started an oil company instead of working for the post office.
In this case, I used strawberry and rhubarb with Beefeater gin. (I used 200g of each fruit to 750ml of Beefeater). I first sous vide cooked the rhubarb at 61C/142F for an hour. Then I blended them all together. I forgot about the mix for a couple weeks, but it’s high enough alcohol that it doesn’t matter.
After tasting I decided to add in some Boy Drinks World Serrano Cocktail Spice I had picked up at Tales of the Cocktail. Man I love a good bitters. Or in this case maybe a tincture? Whatever it is, it’s fucking fantastic.
The Pink Hornet*
2 oz. strawberry rhubarb gin
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup (1:1, by weight)
1.5 droppers (about 3 dashes) of Boy Drinks World Serrano Cocktail Spice
Shake and strain, my friend. Shake and strain. Or get your dad to do it for you. It’s the least he can do.
Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Poor Man’s Justino
200g hulled strawberries (so maybe 225g before)
750ml Beefeater Gin
3g Pectinex Ultra-SPL
Cut the rhubarb into 1/2” chunks and arrange into a single layer in Ziploc or vacuum bag. Cook in immersion circulator at 61C/142F for an hour until tender. (If you don’t have a circulator, you could probably just use a simmering pot of water over low heat.)
Blend everything together and set in a round jar to separate. You’ll see the mixture separate a little more every day for a few days, then it will remain pretty static. Once it stops coming apart you’re good to go.
Carefully pour the clear liquid off the top through a Chemex filter. For the rest (the bulk of it) strain through a fine mesh strainer, then through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer, then finally through Chemex filters.
(If you don’t want to do a justino, you could probably do either a rapid infusion with an ISI, or an old-school infusion by just soaking the fruit in the booze, but you won’t get the flavor intensity and sparkling clarity of a justino.)
*As I was making it, my friend got stung by a hornet so big it could be Godzilla’s enemy in the next movie. Hence the name.