Monday, November 18, 2013

Rhubarb champers - outrageously simple and delicious...

About 6 months ago, our awesome friend Brett hooked us up with some rhubarb champagne he'd secured at the Brogo food swap (in case you saw it, it was the food swap featured in episode 4 of River Cottage Australia...). Anyways, it was really really delicious, and I've been thinking about making some ever since. But, like lots of things, it took me a while to get around to it, so we're only now enjoying the fruits of our labour. But boy was it worth the wait!! A delectable, sweet, refreshing, ever so slightly alcoholic, pink, fizzy beverage, made at home, using bits of stuff we grew in the garden. Just what everyone needs for summer. Yay!
The recipe came from (I think, but can't remember positively) the Aussies Living Simply website, and goes a little sumthin' like this:

Get your really cute little helper friend to help you cut up 3 and a half cups of home-grown rhubarb into little pieces. 
Put this, along with 3 and a half cups of sugar, into the super-awesome ceramic fermenter that you got for your birthday. 
Add the juice from a couple of lemons, 12 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 4 wine bottles of water, and leave to ferment for around 3 days. Then bottle (I used some glass swing-top bottles I got at a garage sale, but I've heard that plastic soft-drink bottles also work well) and leave for around 3 weeks. Then pop it like a champagne bottle! It'll fizz, just like the real deal. But to my mind, it's much more delicious. And kinda more satisfying, because I made it myself. I'm funny like that...
We're currently enjoying ours cut half and half with mineral water, in account of the syrupy sweetness of the champagne. Tonight we even had some outrageously delicious local strawberries chopped up in it. What a supremely delicious (and rather good looking) treat!
So get to it folks. Your summer will be better for it, I assure you.

PS. If you're not lucky enough to have a partner who buys you fun things like ceramic fermenters for your birthday, you could also use something like a big glass jar, a beer brewing thing, a plastic bucket or the like. I didn't sterilise, but make sure it's pretty clean!


  1. Oh my it is the prettiest colour! And too funny - here I am sitting at the computer reading about your rhubarb champagne when my husband pipes up from bed "Would you like to make some rhubarb gin this weekend?" It's the season, I guess :-) The Brogo food swap sounds great - I love that River Cottage is right there in the Bega Valley. Enjoy your champers and strawberries!

  2. Looks fabulous! My gingerbeer experience suggests that if your champagne is syrupy-sweet & not too alcoholic at 3 weeks, then at 6 weeks you'll probably have a lovely, dry champagne that could get you well drunk! I guess this recipe is using wild yeasts? I can only ever get those lovely tiny champagne bubbles by adding a champagne yeast.

  3. Great to find someone living where I hope to move to. Looking forward to going off grid again...such freedom..., growing food and living in community. Painting hard to get my home in Sunshine Coast Hinterland ready to sell. Marilyn