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. Im making marrow rum this year and it smells leathal already lol – the marrow is suitably huge and due to space restrictions it’s living perched on top of a big jar so takes 2 people to move it.

  2. caroline

    I am a novice marrow rum maker and have followed a recipee I found on the internet which is similar to the one mentioned above. The marrow has been in the airing cupboard for three week now and is very soft at at the next stage. I have a demijohn and have just ordered a bung with airlock so I can transfer to demijohn asap. However I have noticed that the marrow which is gaffer taped up and wrapped in tin foil has mould growing on the outside. Will this be a problem when extractimg the licquid? Here’s hoping someone can help me.

    • Charlie Armour

      Did you ever find out about the mould? I have started my first one and there is a patch of mould on the side. Seems wrong to ignore it.

  3. Wow – what a quick reply. Thank you Fiona, I’ve had a quick peep at the site & will return to peruse at leisure later. No doubt Blackberry Brandy can be made by substituting brandy for the whiskey – here’s to experimentation…. hic 🙂

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi KarenO

    We don’t have a recipe for blackberry brandy. But we do have one for blackberry whisky
    http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/?p=422

  5. Did I miss the blackberry Brandy recipe? I put in a search above but nothing came up 🙁

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Trev

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment. Our marrow rum has been fermenting for a very long time now.

    I have read the warnings and will follow them unless I want the people to stay the night!

    This year I’m keen to try carrot whisky.

  7. ive tried both these recipes ( marrow and carrot) whilst living in the uk, both are helped with the addition of a tablespoon of ground ginger for that `ZING` and 500grm of raisins for taste and colour.don`t be in a hurry to drink either. patience is well rewarded with end result.tread carefully, highly potent & yes marrows are mature zuccinis/courgettes dont use until starting to show tints of orange on skin,they are at their highest sugar level at that stage.

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi PyJamas

    Great to get an update with what is going on in you rhouse in Portland.

    Must try the blackberry whisky this year.

    60 lbs of sloes, I am mesmerised…

    Thanks for dropping by!

  9. PyJamas

    Hello and Greetings from Portland……..

    It unfortunatly has been a while since I have been able to drop a line into this site so hello once again.

    When I last dropped in, I was in the process of making cider and I am pleased to report that we managed to produce some 48 gallons bottled and about 10 gallons of juice which was frozen down in blocks.

    I promise to do that piece for you this year when we do the cider once more.

    What I did manage to do last year was pick some 60lb of Sloes and frezze them down in 1lb bags. This has enabled me to continue sloe gin production as and when I can afford the gin from Asda. I am already on my 4th gallon of sloe gin this year alone, so I should be able to lay some down instead of drinking it all lol.

    Unfortunatly I did not discover the delights of Blackberry brandy until after the fruit season had ended, but rest assured I will be picking and laying down fruit for next year for sure… Hic.

    Btw… you just have to try a blackberry and apple pie made from the blackberrys used to make the Brandy. Must be eaten with lashings of hot custard…. Yum Yum. Just don’t drive if you must have two helpings. 🙂

    Regards PyJamas

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Cherry

    Well worth having a go. This is a fun one and it smells great, so far!

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