The Cottage Smallholder

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Farmer’s marrow rum recipe

the marrow encased in muslin during the process

The marrow in muslin during the rum process

I have discovered that stored in a cool location, marrows keep for weeks. Our marrowhas waited to be turned into something delicious since mid September. It had gradually changed in colour from dark green to a paler green with small dashes of orange. It was time to give it the Cinderella treatment.

When Lindsey emailed me with a recipe for marrow rum that she had found in a 1954 cookbook. I could see a great future for our companion vegetable. Lindsey had tried to leave the recipe as a comment on the site and I discovered a few days later that my spam filter had gobbled up her comment. Apologies if this has ever happened to you.

So today this is Lindsey’s recipe with some other twists that I discovered on the excellent Selfsufficientish forum. There are quite a few recipes for marrow rum knocking about on the Internet. A few even use rum!

The forum discussion on marrow rum has some good pointers to making some great grog. mattachinelee has a similar recipe at the start but adds the sieved marrow flesh and cooled boiled water to the demijohn and leaves the grog in the airing cupboard for a year. I think that I am going to try his route with one change. When fermentation ceases I will rack off the grog into a clean demijohn. As I don’t like the idea of the grog sitting on the marrow ‘lees’ for a year.

Apparently marrow rum is amazingly potent stuff! Just the sort of grog that eases Cottager Smallholder inhabitants through a grey winter. I have seen marrows on sale recently. Why not give it a go?

Farmer’s marrow rum recipe
Recipe Type: Liqueur
Author: Fiona Nevile
  • 1 large ripe marrow with hard skin
  • 3-5 pounds of demerara sugar
  • Activated wine yeast (Lindsey suggests bread yeast would do at a pinch)
  • Juice of an orange
  1. Slice off stalk end of the marrow with a bread knife. Savng enough to use as a lid. Remove all pith and seeds.
  2. Pack the cavity with demerara sugar.
  3. Pour over previously activated yeast and the juice of an orange.
  4. Replace top of marrow, seal with sellotape.
  5. Hang marrow in a muslin bag, cut end uppermost in a warm place.
  6. After 3 wks marrow may show signs of leaking out. Either make a hole in bottom of marrow and run liquid into fermenting jar. fit airlock, let ferment out. You can if you wish add a few raisins to fermenting jar. syphon off and bottle.

Alternative methods

Lindsey suggests pack with yet more sugar, reseal and leave longer. This is from a recipe I found yesterday and as I want max juice…..!!


At this stage mattachinelee in the selfsufficientish forum takes a slightly different route. Pour the sugar mixture into the demi john. Scrape out the marrow flesh, sieve and adds this to the demi john through a funnel. Add more yeast and the juice of half an orange. Top up the demijohn to three quarters full with cooled boiled water to the demijohn. Fit an airlock and leave for a year in the airing cupboard. This will produce 5 pints of rum.

Lindsey points to a note from 1954 book: the longer you can keep this the better it will taste.

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  1. Hello is there any reason why this could not be done with a pumkin?
    except for the larger pillow case!
    thanks alex

  2. I made marrow rum some years ago and the walls of the marrow became too thin so I scooped out the flesh and mashed it up with demerera sugar and it turned out fine. I have one bottle left and that is now eight years old. It was good so must try the last bottle. This year I have grown pumpkins. Do you think I could try the same method with them. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

    Dave U

  3. well after finding this article i have tried the marrow rum for myself. theres only so much you can do with the blighters!

    My girlfriend thought we had to mix it with water and then put it in the demijohn to ferment, is this true?
    Also what about fermenting temperature, i was goign to pop it in the old coal shed on my 1920s end terrace, would this be adequate?

    thanks Paul

  4. Well I now have two stuffed marrows hanging in their muslin “socks” above the aga! What with the scrumpy, the damson and sloe gin it’s all getting rather alcoholic round here!

    Thanks for your kind words about the blog, but there just were not enough hours in the day. Too many other irons in the fire were getting ignored!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Gillie

    Long time no see. I really miss your blog 🙁

  6. Wandering around cyberspace looking for something to do with my marrow glut other than stuff them I found this. Now this is the kind of marrow stuffing I like the look of! I wonder how it will go with our scrumpy??!! Thank you 🙂

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hello John O

    Hope that it works out well for you.

  8. Have a glut of marrows on my allotment. I will be there first thing in the morning. Look forward to trying this out. John O

  9. Will be trying this recipe,have a huge number of marrows this year.

  10. Thank you for this recipe, Just set one up!

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