Quince is a funny little fruit. It looks like a knobby, furry little pear and it's very hard and sour when raw. Cooking transforms it into a rosy-pink little gem with a citrusy-appley sort of taste. And the syrup it makes it so lovely and glowingly pink.
It also has slightly poisonous seeds that can give off hydrogen cyanide when ingested, so that's fun! Quince is like a really low risk fruit version of fugu fish. Don't worry though, you need to eat a lot of quince seeds to harm you. I think it's a good metaphor-fruit for a New Years Eve cocktail; about transforming something odd and a bit difficult into something lovely and slightly thrilling. Because all cocktails are elaborate metaphors about your life right?
Anyway, happy new year! I hope you have a wonderful and quince-like 2017.
quince gin fizz:
- quince syrup (recipe below)
- soda water
- mint sprigs for garnish
For each drink:
Peel a strip of lime peel over a glass, aiming to catch the oils that spray out in the glass. Give it a squeeze to get a bit more oil into the glass.
Combine 1 ounce gin, 1/2 ounce lime juice and 1/2 ounce syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Top up with soda water and garnish with mint.
- 4 quinces, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbs lime juice
- 2 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a small pan and simmer on low heat for two hours, until syrup thickens slightly and turns a lovely, jewelled rose colour. Store in refrigerator.
Photos: Tyrel Hiebert