The QuinceEssential Cocktail

(serves two)

If you want to enjoy this cocktail, you may to have to wait a long time, as its primary ingredient is the delicious, fragrant, lemony-pineapple quince fruit.

How long are we talking about?

Well, for example, it is typically one of the last fruits in the orchard to ripen, usually in late October or even early November, depending on what climate it’s grown in.

So, when it’s ripe it’s ready?

Oh—no, no, no—even when it’s perfectly ripe you have to wait again, as you then should place the quince fruits in a single layer in a brown paper bag and store them in a cool, dark place for about to week to continue to ripen off the tree.

…and then it’s ready?
Sorry, no. As most varieties are far too bitter and astringent to eat right off the tree, they must first be cooked (either by heat or an extended sojourn in alcohol) before you’re able to enjoy their sweet, floral taste—hey, wait, come back!

But I’m thirsty now!

Hey, if you’re patient, I promise you, the result is most certainly worth waiting for. And creating your own quince-infused vodka is easy and fun though—yes— it will take some time.

But, look: if you want to cut to the chase, you can certainly buy ripe quince fruit locally or buy it online, and even quince jam can work in a pinch. But for the purposes of this drink, we’ll assume that you’re using fresh, fully ripened quince fruit in all its lumpy, fuzzy glory. Here’s how to do it!

*Please Note: Until you are at least 21 years of age, you are forbidden by law to read this and sample any of the bubbly delights in the Carbonarium.

You Will Need:

  • 4 oz. of quince-infused vodka (OR 4 oz. of your favorite vodka + 1 oz. of quince jam)
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz. well-steeped ginger tea
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 lemon spirals

Please note: The amounts of the ingredients are appropriate for two servings. Use mathematics to multiply the quantities of these ingredients times the number of guests.

How to Make It:

  1. Plant a quince tree in 2008.
  2. Wait thirteen years.
  3. Optional: Consider using this time to travel the world, get married, and raise a family.
  4. Reap your bountiful harvest of heavenly quince fruits.
  5. Further ripen them in a paper bag in a single layer in a cool dark place for one week.
  6. Clean and rinse half a dozen large quince of any residual fuzziness.
  7. Cut fruit into chunks (leave skin on but omit core, seeds and stems),
  8. Put chunks into a sealable 2 L. glass jar, and cover with 1.5 L. of your favorite vodka.
  9. Place jar in a dark, cool place for three months, removing to stir at least once a week.
  10. Periodically taste the infusion to gauge the progress.
  11. Once the vodka has become redolent of the floral essence of the quince fruit and become golden in color, use cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove the quince solids, and pour the filtered contents into a glass presentation bottle or back into the original vodka bottle.
  12. Combine quince vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  13. Shake briskly for at least 45 seconds to incorporate the egg white.
  14. Pour contents into your polycarbonate bottle.
  15. Carbonate!
  16. Pour into martini glasses, shaking well to get all the frothy egg white into the top of the drink.
  17. Garnish with lemon spirals.
  18. Pick up your finished drinks, gaze deeply into each other’s eyes, and enjoy while slurping noisily.
  19. If egg white froth gets into your mustache, well, that’s just froth you can enjoy later.

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