Christmas Cheer: Quince Vodka
This year we hummed and hawed about making Christmas puddings or cakes, homemade chutney or jam before we learnt of a bounty of beautiful quince at one of our venues in Gloucestershire.
For those that aren’t acquainted, the quince is the sole member of the Cydonia genus but is a cousin of the apple and the pear. In fact, the bright golden yellow fruit is often confused for a pear.
Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive blossom and ornamental qualities. We toyed with the idea of making and giving Membrillo, a sweet paste typically served with Manchego cheese, but decided that, given that it was Christmas, the only decent thing to do would be to make quince vodka.
So, back in October, armed with our quince, caster sugar and several litres of good quality vodka we set about rinsing off the downy protective coating, drying, grating and steeping the quince before leaving them to infuse for seven weeks, with a daily jiggle just for good measure.
We have now triple filtered and decanted the vodka, and we’re delighted with the results! Amber in hue and with a sweet, almost honey-like taste, it slips down rather nicely and is the perfect warming tipple to enjoy either neat, as a digestif, shaken or stirred with Vermouth in a Martini, or with Gin & Vermouth for a Quince Vesper. Cheers!