Brandy enhanced with quince, vanilla, grated nutmeg, lemon peel, ginger and brown sugar to make a rich fruity drink for the Christmas season.
I know, you think I’ve peaked early but making bottles of liqueurs and flavoured spirits now ahead of the Christmas season will give you a drinks cabinet the finest cocktail bars would envy. Even if cocktails are not your thing, a couple of teaspoons of this in the bottom of your glass of fizz on Christmas morning will make your festive season shine.
The vanilla in the brandy gives a delicious creamy note and the brown sugar adds a rich toffee flavour that takes this drink to another level. Should you wish to remove the sugar all together that would be fine but the brandy would have a harsher edge which is lends itself perfectly to roaring log fires with toasty feet silhouetted in front of dancing flames.
Tots of this brandy from hip flasks are most welcome mid festive season walk especially when the frost hasn’t bothered to thaw giving a nod to those of us who lose track of which day it is in between Christmas and New Year.
Should you find yourself short of time and your quince brandy steeps for less than the given recipe time, don’t stress. It will taste fine but just less intense and less rounded and smooth. Anything served in a glass of bubbly is always well received and will put a smile on anyone’s face.
This Hot Gin recipe is a true winter warmer. Not complicated to make, quick and delicious.
- 70cl bottle of brandy
- 1 large or 5 small quinces
- 2 strips lemon peel
- 1 small vanilla pod
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 thunbnail fresh ginger, sliced
- 50g brown sugar
- Sterlise a large sealable jar or bottle by washing in hot soapy water. Rinse then towel dry and place in a 140C/120C fan/gas mark 1 preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Quarter and core the quinces and add to the jar along with the lemon peel and vanilla pod.
- Add the nutmeg, ginger slices and brown sugar.
- Top with the brandy until you’ve used up nearly all but 60ml or so. You can drink this later but keep the empty bottle as you will be using this for the finished quince brandy.
- Once sealed, give everything a good swirl to ensure the sugar has dissolved. Place in a cool place out of sunlight (a bottom shelf out of the way). Every couple of days give it another swirl and it should be ready in about 6-8 weeks, longer if you can.
- Decant into a jug through a sieve into a jug and restrain through a coffee filter lined funnel into the brandy bottle. Label and allow to round further in the jar for a good 2-3 weeks ideally but if you are short of time, it will be fine mixed with sparkling wine or used sparingly in whipped cream.
- You don't need to buy the best brandy to make this. Regular shop bought own label is fine but just not the scarily cheap variety.
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