Festive tipples: quince vodka
There’s nothing like a sneaky nip of warming, fruit-infused spirits to get your party started, and they make great homemade Christmas gifts too.
Glut’s Head Gardener Ned likes to flavour his favourite festive tipple with aromatic quinces, which bring delicious rosy hints of honey, apple and pear. His easy, late-autumn recipe uses just a few fruits, so it’s ideal for using up the tail end of a bountiful quince harvest.
There’s an ongoing debate over whether you should add sugar to the fruit and spirits at the beginning or the end of the process. Ned’s tried and tested speedy method combines all the ingredients at once. Having extensively tested the results, the Glut team can attest to its depth of flavour and all-round deliciousness.
2-3 ripe quinces
Vodka (any supermarket brand will do)
Sterilise a large preserving jar and grate in 2-3 unpeeled quinces until the jar is half to three-quarters full of fruit. Top the bottle up with vodka, then add a small coffee cup of normal white sugar and stir to dissolve. Everyone’s sweet tooth is different, so when it is completely dissolved, taste a little and add more sugar until it suits your taste.
Make a batch now, and your quince vodka will be in peak condition for Christmas. In the unlikely event that it hasn't been polished off by January, strain and discard the quince pulp, and your vodka will happily keep for several months longer.