Recipe Review

Recipe Report: Quince Ratafia

published Jan 29, 2009
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Two months ago I started a ratafia. What’s a ratafia? Well, it’s a simple liqueur made from fruit steeped in alcohol. Or, as reader Bx put it, BOOZE FROOT.

Want to hear how it turned out?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Here’s the original post with the recipe:

I shredded a couple of quince fruit (delicious, heavenly things) and let them sit in a jar of pure vodka along with some sugar and a pinch of spices. I shook the jar every day or two to help the sugar dissolve. I couldn’t help but nip off a little of the alcohol as it steeped, and I found it very strong (naturally) and also sweet with that unmistakable flavor of quince.

After two months I poured out the liquor and strained out all the shredded quince, which was discarded. (The photo above is the jar right before straining. The fruit oxidized and turned dark at the top where it was exposed to air.)

I am going to leave the liquor to sit a little longer still, but already it’s delicious and heady with the sweet, golden flavor of quince. I rather expected the liquor to turn orange, like cooked quince, but it’s only a pale amber. The spices don’t overpower the quince flavor; in fact, I rather think that this would be too sweet without them.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Final verdict? This is a sweet, strong, potent liquor that does a very good job of bottling that quince aroma. It’s not the same as fresh quince, of course, but stirred into cocktails from now until next summer, it will have to do. Does anyone have any cocktail recommendations? So far my husband and I have just sipped this neat, with a little lemon. It’s extremely warming on a cold winter’s night!

Have you ever made a liqueur (or, ahem, BOOZE FROOT)?