A few weeks ago I knocked up a batch of Parma Violet Gin, and very acceptable it was too. Buoyed on by my gin making triumph, and somewhat overwhelmed by a glut of quinces, I decided to try my hand at making some Quince Gin.
Quince Gin, or any fruit flavoured gin is really easy to do, you just need a big jar, some fruit, a bit of sugar, gin and some time.
I’ve never really drunk much quince gin before and now that I have, I find it hard to understand why it’s not more of a thing. It’s not sweet and sickly, but it’s delicately perfumed, just like the fruit and it’s really very special.
We have a quince tree in our garden, so most autumns we are blessed with a fairly decent crop of fruit. Most of this goes towards making quince jelly, which is excellent with cheese, but this year I put aside two nice big quinces for ginning with. It’s simple to do, you just need patience.
How to make your own Quince Gin
You will need:
380mls Gin, I used the cheap stuff from Aldi
2 large quinces
A large jar
Coffee filters or muslin
A nice bottle
How to make Quince Gin:
The first thing I did was measure how much gin my decorative bottle would take. My bottle would hold 350mls of gin, so allowing for a little bit of wastage during the straining process, and me having a little taste, I measured out 380mls of gin and poured it into a large sterilised jar.
To sterilise your jars and bottles, put your clean jars in a low oven for at least half an hour. Carefully remove your jars from the oven (they will be incredibly hot) and allow them to cool down a little.
Chop up your two clean quinces as small as you can be bothered to do. I removed the small core and the pips. Once they’re all chopped up, add them to your large jar and top up with 30g of sugar. Put the lid on your jar and give it a good shake.
Now, the fruit at the top of the jar might be a bit exposed to the air; this bothered me, so I took a piece of baking paper and made a cartouche of sorts. A cartouche is just a bit of paper which you cover the top of food with when you’re cooking to make sure the contents are submerged. This stops the quince at the top of the jar from going brown.
Put the jar to one side, making sure you shake the jar every few days. Leave the quince to sit in the gin for 3-6 weeks.
When the time is up, take your sterilised bottle and using a funnel with some muslin or a coffee filter in it; strain the gin into the bottle. I found that it was best if I strained it twice. Just make sure you replacing the muslin with a new piece after the first straining.
Seal your bottle and decorate it with a nice label if you’re giving it as a gift. I’ve called this gin “Two Quinces” after the 1992 Spin Doctors song, you’re welcome.
If you’ve got some quince to spare, you might also like to try this recipe for Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Galette with quince.