Rhubarb is everywhere.
I know partially because it’s in season, but we’re still seeing it as one of the flavours that gin makers love. From Warner Edwards, to Edinburgh Gin, we can’t get enough of the sweet stuff. We seem to be going in the same cycle we did with vodka – and I can’t help but wonder how far away we are from Birthday Cake gin, or sweet shop favourites in a gin? Oh no, wait, already done.
Yet you and I might remember the rhubarb of our childhood being properly sweet and sour – rhubarb fool, crumble (smothered in custard cos mum didn’t add enough sugar to the pud), or hell, just a cleaned up stick of the stuff dunked in sugar and chewed. Anyone else wincing at the memory?
But when it comes to gin, we seem intent on going sweet. And the latest in these little sweeties to land on my doorstep was the Rhubarb and Rosehip gin from The Lakes Distillery.
The Lakes Distillery was set up in 2014 and their gin launched the same year (I should know, I went to the launch). Since the launch of the gin, we’ve seen them craft vodkas, more gins (and gin liqueurs), blend a whisky, and finally this year, their own whisky will go on sale (we’re simply waiting on it to be released).
Their gins tend to be of the floral/fruity kind, easy to drink and smooth. The liqueurs, and indeed the salted caramel vodka, and the espresso vodka, tend to be surprisingly well balanced – if being sweet enough to need mixing rather than drinking straight (especially if you don’t have a particularly sweet tooth like me).
This liqueur, though it’s hard to tell from the images, is a light delicate pink, so they’re definitely hitting the, er, ‘trend’ for pink drinks.
On the nose – sweet like candy. Think candyfloss, rhubarb and custard sweets (without the vanilla), and hints of fruit. On the palate again it’s incredibly sweet, so much so it makes it hard to pick up anything else. Boiled sweets, the rhubarb is very gentle and aside from some vague florals, I really struggled to pick up the rosehip. The latter rather made me sad, as I have very fond memories of a rosehip cordial from my childhood.
Let’s see if a G&T opens it up any. As usual, I went with Fever Tree light – something I tend to do to try and let the gin shine.
Sweet, fruity, floral. For me, even this light tonic dominated any gentler flavours, so all I could get was that sweetness, the gentle rhubarb fruit and some florals.
Sadly, for me, this is a miss. It’s too sweet even for the fruit to come through. Maybe a different mixer might make it work (1724 is as gentle tonic wise as you can get, so maybe it needs that), it might dry off a little in a dry Champagne or Cava, but for now, it’s going back on the shelf.