Discerning Drinking, Chapter Eight.


Originally posted 9th April 2012

Quince is a funny little fruit that can be quite unpleasant when raw.  However, it lends itself very well to some of my favourite pastimes; not least of all, eating cheese.  Quince is fantastic when made into preserves, and when processed further into paste or ‘membrillo’, is a great accompaniment to my favourite dairy treat.

So imagine my delight and awe when I came across quince liqueur at the Cheltenham Food Festival last year.  This lovely little gastronomic gathering is a smashing place to discover unusual ingredients (and if you’re feeling flush, £150 oak chopping boards as I seem to recall). 

Anyway on a compete whim, I treated myself to the quince liqueur (about £ten or so) and took it back to London where it became abandoned in a corner of the kitchen, much like those cow-shaped toastie makers that everyone bought then used once.  I think I got as far as sniffing the quince liqueur.

What’s that bottle in the corner over there?

I dunno, is it vinegar?  There’s vinegar somewhere over there

Yup, only a week back to the Smoke and my quince liqueur had been forgotten, relegated to a forgotten corner of my bar, somewhere between vermouth and an ill-conceived bottle of Skittles Vodka cobbled together one night during Take Me Out.

Luckily, I knocked the bastard bottle over when I was making tea last night and this prompted me to actually try to use the liqueur in a tasty cocktail.  I am afraid I was not too imaginative but the result was a tasty take on the classic G&T which- regular readers will realise I am more than a little partial to.

Gin & Quince

  • 1.5 shot Quince liqueur
  • 1.5 shot Bombay Sapphire gin
  • Topped with Tonic water

I chose to serve the drink ‘short’ in an Old Fashioned, simply because all larger glasses were in the dishwasher following an unusually social weekend.  Still, the end result packs a tasty punch.

To Make a G&Q, simply stir up the quince and gin in a shaker filled with ice.  Transfer into the ice-filled Old Fashioned and top with tonic water (none of that slim line junk) and stir.

Tasting notes

The balance of the drink is just right; the botanical, quinine warmth of a standard G&T has not been lost, but are now complimented with the distinctive sweet-yet-sharp quince.  The drink is beautifully perfumed, very much like the quince fruit itself.

I’ll save future Gin & Quinces for the summer, definitely (or until I knock over the bottle again, which considering the current state of my kitchen, will be sooner rather than later).

I hope you all had a fantastic long weekend, and have a fantastic short week ahead!

Bottoms up.

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