The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe update

a marrow on our old garden chair

A marrow for converting into rum

Marrows were half price in the supermarket last weekend. I hovered by the stand, wickedly tempted. It wasn’t the prospect of stuffed marrow that had this magic effect. We have completed stage one of our marrow rum experiment. It has finally been transferred to a demi john and is now skulking in the airing cupboard. It smells delicious, just like rum.

Suddenly I joined those triumphant Neanderthals who discovered they had inadvertently made something delicious. When I appeared in The Rat Room with a very long plastic bucket and a marrow trussed up in an old pillowcase, Danny looked a bit alarmed.

Following instructions he lifted the lid of the bucket and tentatively sniffed.
“It smells like rum. But you put rum in it, didn’t you?”
Some people do. I had just used innocent ingredients, the juice of an orange, a giant bag of Demerara sugar and some wine yeast. I don’t think that D believed me.

I continued to follow the instructions from the Selfsufficientish forum for stage two. Adding the juice, marrow flesh and topping up the demi john with boiled (cold) water and more yeast. I came down in the morning to an airlock that was being stretched to the limit. There was hardly a gasp between glugs. The marrow mixture had bubbled into the airlock and was seeping into the kitchen carpet.

My instant response as I eased the demijohn into the bath was,
“Thank goodness we haven’t just cleaned the carpets.”

In fact that’s been my response to every slip and spill for the past eighteen months. I am certain that if carpet cleaning companies ran the country they would ban marrow rum. It seems to have removed all other odours and greets me every morning with a faintsweet, rummy aroma.

The marrow rum has lived in the bath for the last two weeks. Companionable and rumbustious Danny moved a small island of newspaper onto the floor. After a week of wondering why this old newspaper was lurking in the bathroom I suddenly twigged that it was the MR demi john landing stage. I hadn’t bothered to remove the presence when I showered – just corralled it at the far end of the bath. I rather enjoyed the conversational glugs as I washed. If you move a demi john it generally becomes more chatty.

Now the MR has calmed down a bit and has been moved to its final resting place. In a year or so it will make a dramatic appearance. The Selfsufficientish forum warned not to pour more than a small glass per person unless you have enough beds for everyone.

Perhaps after stage three (tasting and bottling) this one will not be on general release. We’ve only one spare bed after all.


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22 Comments

  1. Hi.
    I think we are going to have to try making some marrow rum!
    Our courgettes turned to marrows while we were in Australia over Christmas, and it seems a shame to feed them to the compost bin or the cattle!

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Kitchen Witch

    I am sorry but for some unknown reason your comment was filtered into he spam bucket. Many apologies!

    We haven’t tried it yet. Just lolled on the wafts. Aromas are very good.

    I love a cacophony of breathy demi johns. I’m sure that 4 gallons of sloe wine would sound sweet!

  3. Kitchen Witch

    Hello there! Your marrow adventures have flushed me out of lurking and into the comments box. What a fantastic endeavour! Have you tried any of it yet? It sounds like it’s certainly going for it on the fermentation front; I love it when traps pop that quickly. Even better if you have three or more on the go at any one time – our sloe wine, four gallons thereof, made quite a choral noise for some weeks. 🙂

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Thanks Nick you are a star! Danny is getting a bit worried that I may replace his favourite tipple with this. If it’s as good as the marrow rum I think I will be earmarking the bottles for personal consumption…

  5. carrot whiskey
    6lb carrots
    1 gallon water
    2 oranges
    2 lemons
    4 lb sugar
    12 oz raisins (chopped)
    1 lb clean wheat (bashed)
    sherry yeast
    wash carrots well (do not peel)and boil them in the water until tender.slice oranges and lemons and place in bucket.pour in hot liquid from carrot boiling and dissolve sugar into liquid. leave to cool then add the raisins, wheat and previously activated yeast.cover and leave to ferment for 12 ish days. put strained liquid in demijohn topping up with sugared water to gallon mark if required. finish fermenting ,strain and leave to clear and bottle as usual, store for 6 months for best flavour.
    hope this is works as well for you as it did for me.
    A tightwads tip is to save the boiled carrots in freezer for use in soups and stews later.
    cheers nick.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Nick

    Great comment and miraculous under the stairs discovery!

    I’d love the recipe for the carrot whiskey, please!

  7. I googled in via the slow cooked celery soup recipe,which was a triumph,but it is the marrow rum tales which are bringing back fond memories!.As a keen brewer of all things free and cheap I have spent many hours under the influence of the marrow and its potent alcoholic offspring.I used to stuff mine in layers with raisins/sultanas and a mix of demerara and muscavadosugar.then add 4teaspoons off ginger powder to the demijohn.
    health reasons have forced me to go teetotal and hang up my brewers apron but while looking under the stairs for christmas decs Ifound two four year old demijohns one marrow rum and one hedgerow red which now resembled a port.free to brew at the time it now cost me a fortune to bed and breakfastthe sprawl of bodies on the living room floor!!.would now be the time to unleash my carrot whiskey recipe on the world?.happy brewing.

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Amanda

    I don’t think that it needed the extra top up of yeast!

    The demi john can’t explode as the airlock lets air out through the water seal. If you bottle homemade grog it can explode if fermentation starts again.

    Hi Michelle

    Yes a marrow is similar to a giant zucchini. If you click through to the selfsufficintish forum you will see that rum is being made in a giant zucchini (we call them courgettes).

  9. Michelle

    I don’t think i’ve ever seen a marrow, is it like a zuchinni? If I could make rum out of zuchinni . . . . well I might just have to consider planting one this year. GASP! Did I really just type that?

  10. It’s like a grown up alcoholic version of Roald Dahl’s famous Chocolate Factory. I’d have been too scared that it would explode. They can do that can’t they?

    We must have been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a lot as I can relate most things to it at the moment.

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