Marrow Rum Recipe – How to Make Marrow Rum

For some reason growing marrows has declined in recent years. At one time no self-respecting gardener wouldn’t have a few marrow growing. There was great competition to grow the largest marrow and some did grow huge.

Marrow RumOn the other hand, marrows can be pretty tasteless hence most recipes stuff the marrow with other more flavourful foods. Courgettes, which have surged in popularity are just immature marrows, bred to be eaten young.

Happily marrows aren’t difficult to grow and if you leave a courgette long enough it will become a marrow and can be used for this marrow rum recipe. There’s more on growing marrows here.

Marrows are cucurbits (the same family as courgettes, squash and cucumbers). Like squash and pumpkins, the marrow’s skin will harden if left in the autumn sun when picked. With a hardened skin, they’ll store well for months.

How to Make Marrow Rum

Ingredients for Marrow Rum

  • 1 Large Mature Marrow (Must have a hard skin)
  • Demerara Sugar
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 oz Raisins
  • Wine Yeast
  • Yeast Nutrient

Method for Marrow Rum

  1. Take a few tablespoons of cooled boiled water, dissolve a couple of teaspoons of sugar and add the juice of the orange. Add the yeast and yeast nutrient. Leave for 8 hours or overnight covered with a piece of muslin so that fermentation gets going.
  2. Using a bread saw or even a cleaned wood saw, cut the stalk end off and place to one side.
  3. Scoop out the pith and seeds. Pack the space inside the marrow with the Demerara sugar.
  4. Pour the fermenting yeast over the sugar. Replace the top that you cut off and fix it in place with gaffer tape or similar.
  5. Hang the marrow with the lid uppermost in a net or muslin bag suspended in a warm place. Alternatively you could stand the marrow in a large bowl or jug and cover with a towel.
  6. Keep a close eye on the marrow, especially after the second week. After the third week, liquid should start to drip out. Make a hole in the bottom of the marrow and drain the liquid into a demijohn.
  7. At this point you add the raisins into the demijohn, fit the airlock and place somewhere warm.
  8. Once fermentation has stopped, rack off to clear and then bottle the marrow rum.

Should be good to drink after a year but better after two.

Posted in Country Spirits
37 comments on “Marrow Rum Recipe – How to Make Marrow Rum
  1. Amy says:


    I’ve started making marrow rum using a different recipe from 2012 so was glad to find one that was published recently.
    I followed one which doesn’t add the yeast until the liquid has been drained from the marrow, and it didn’t specify amounts.
    I’ve added a sprinkling of wine yeast to the liquid and it is fermenting away merrily in a corner.
    Does anyone know how long it will take until fermentation has stopped? And will it matter if the container hasn’t been sealed with an airlock?

    Thanks in advance


  2. John Harrison says:

    I’d expect it to take about 6 weeks to finish fermenting – but too many variables to be certain.
    Yes, yes, yes, you need an airlock!

  3. Lin says:

    Can I top up the demijohn with water or orange juice or something???? The demijohn is only three quarters full of the liquid from the marrow. I’ve already added the chopped raisins but our recipe didn’t mention any orange.

  4. John Harrison says:

    The recipe above does mention an orange – if you’re working on a different recipe then we’d need to know it to advise.
    If you’re following this recipe, don’t top it up.

  5. mark says:

    my late father did this recipe many years ago and used a ladies stocking to hang the marrow in whist fermentation took place

  6. Mr stuart smith says:

    A question. Can you help? How much yeast and yeast nutrient should I use per marrow?

    • John Harrison says:

      Yeast, being a living thing reproduces and doubles its number every 8 hours or so. If bought in sachets, use the whole sachet otherwise a teaspoon full will be fine to get things going.
      Unless the packet instructions say otherwise, a small teaspoon full will be plenty. You can omit yeast nutrient but I’ve found better results from using it. The fermentation gets going better and lasts longer.

  7. Deborah Jessup says:

    This may be obvious to some but when you say “scoop out the pith and seeds” is what you call the pith the actual marrow flesh so you would be left with just a shell. Thanks

  8. Bub says:

    Hello mate I’m in a competition with 3 mates and I’ve already screwed up 1 week in I decided to turn the marrow and hang it the other way because the big section was decomposing and the smaller bit at the top wasn’t this went tits up the masking tape came away covering me in the sticky fluid I got it to the funnel and Demi John and saved most of it i’de packed it with 3 bags of demera sugar juice of two oranges and a table spoon of yeast I now have a 3 quarter full Demi John and still what feels like a lot of marrow when should I make the hole do I add more yeast do I add anything I’m on my knees mate there’s a taste of in a year even the local h m wine shop are showing an interest what’s my next move mate

    • Charlotte says:

      What happened?!

    • The marrow master says:

      In,m sorry to hear of your concerns bubs I suggest you take off the masking tape, carefully un tie the string and slide the contents out of the stocking into a large bowel.
      If you have a potato masher I suggest a heart felt mash and stir until there is a creamy oozing liquid that sticks to the masher.
      Then pass this through a sieve and decant into a bucket add 3 table spoons full of yeast and 1 lb of ripe plump sultanas, this will add texture and sweetness.
      I would also suggest adding another pound of Demerara sugar at this point.
      Leave for 72 hours and return to the demijohn put in a warm place insuring it is in darkness.
      Remember to shake the contents every evening and before going to bed pray that your marrow rum is better than Pats , scat and hoops.
      Your local wine shop will be intrigued to hear of your progress, I am sure, but I must say this is the most delectable delicious delightful **** you will sip xx

  9. Billie B says:

    I’ve been attempting marrow rum for a couple of years now, following the standard scoop,sugar, yeast, seal hang (hope) drain, add sultana, strain and bottle method.
    Last year’s attempt was not impressive, but I have an elderly neighbour who will drink anything that’s “free”, and he disposed of it, and still survives.
    This year so far so good, but it still retains a pungent smell and colour of ditchwater. It’s been 8 weeks in the making and has just had a second straining, but still has an odour and has not cleared at all.
    Long winded I know, but will it ever become clear naturally; or have you some advice for me other than let the neighbour have it for Christmas?

  10. Jules says:

    My husband made marrow alcohol wine?rum 8-9 years ago it’s in a demi john baker but I feel it need a a flavour/fruit flavour before bottling. Suggestions please?

  11. Caz says:

    Any one tried this lately going to attempt it with my home grown marrow seeing as no one likes eating them,what does rack off mean please.

    • JeannieBeannie says:

      Racking is when you transfer the fermented liquid from one demijohn/vessel to another, avoiding sucking up the dead yeast that sits in the bottom of the vessel you’re transferring from. Use siphon tubing, which you can buy from brewing shops.

  12. danielle tebbutt says:

    I’ve siphoned my rum from the demijohn into jars and wondered if I can reuse the sediment?

  13. Donna says:

    I’m going to give this a try, wish me luck! Never done anything like it before…

  14. Les says:

    Just on the of chance that you might know this. What sort of proof/strength would this be. I am a rum drinker and have tried most rums on the market but never a homemade one. I’d like to give this a try as I grow courgettes at my allotment. Thanks in advance for any info.

  15. Leanne says:

    Hi, I was wondering how much one large marrow would make? If I did 2 marrows at the same time, could I put them both into one demijohn? I’ve got quite a few marrows so was hoping to make a few batches. Thanks

  16. Joe says:

    Starting this today. Do I need to pack the entire marrow with sugar right to the top? I might have to go and get another bag! Thanks.

    My wife just asked me how long til we can drink it, and now thinks I’m crazy after I told her two years! Ho ho

    • Joe says:

      I made this in October 2021 and just opened it today. I only got about 450ml out of it. Definitely alcoholic. Smells a lot like sherry, tastes a little like sherry and earthy marrow flesh. Ho ho what fun. No one else likes it much, but I know it is pure and good.

  17. Peter Broughton says:

    Hi. Do i need to keep topping the marrow up with sugar. Regards. Pete.

  18. Lisa Hover says:

    Mine is going very well.
    Finishing bubbling so I have done my first rack.
    How clear does it become before bottling?

  19. Derek says:

    doing two marrows! the first is a fine looking jobby from my allotment and the second is from an adjoining plot holder which in all reality I think is a huge courgette!
    doin’ two to make a full demi!
    two years eh?? I’ll let you know how it goes then.
    My mum used to keep feeding hers with sugar until it dripped but I’ve filled mine and packed it down inside.

  20. Nicola says:

    How much of both yeast do I need

    • John Harrison says:

      Yeast is a living organism and so you don’t need more than a teaspoon of yeast as in a matter of hours it doubles.

  21. Michele says:

    Hello, I have heard so much about taking the inside of the narrow out, do you cut the marrow lengthways to do this, pack with sugar and stick back together with tape? Thanks

  22. Michele says:

    Hello, If I cut my marrow at the stalk end, straight across, I can only go as deep into the marrow as a spoon length. If I am supposed to go deeper, how would I achieve this please?
    Thank you for your reply

  23. John Harrison says:

    Get your hand in there!

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