In the modern world, one can feel jaded. One can feel saturated by options. One can experience the powerful need for novelty. Which is one of the reasons we are all over the new/old trend for olde-worlde beverages – in this case, drinking vinegar, which calls to mind lace collars, fainting couches and covered-up piano legs. This recipe for a Rhubarb Shrub and Drinking Vinegar from the beautiful book that is The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton (£20, Square Peg) couldn’t sound more Victorian and it couldn’t taste more delicious. Field rhubarb season is also now upon us and so supplies should be plentiful in supermarkets everywhere. *throws off corset*
1kg rhubarb, cut into 1cm pieces
500g unrefined caster or granulated sugar
400ml raw unpasteurised apple cider vinegar
400ml filtered water
1 large vanilla pod
35g green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
In a large saucepan and over a low-medium heat, combine the rhubarb, sugar, vinegar and water. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and use a knife to carefully scrape the seeds into the pan. Stir immediately so that they separate rather than clump together.
Remove the black seeds from the crushed cardamom pods and dry fry over a medium heat for no more than 20 seconds to release the oils. Add the seeds to the pan and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and then pour into a clean sterilised Kilner jar. Seal and top then place in the fridge.
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