Picture of Homemade Quince Liqueur

Quinces are a unique and fragrant fruit, but only recently have I seen non-specialty grocery stores start carrying them. Shaped somewhat like a deformed apple, quinces are native to Asia and have been consumed for thousands of years by the Greeks and Romans. When ripe, quinces have a strong aroma reminiscent of apples, pears, and tropical fruit like guava. Quinces start turning up in the tropical/weird fruit aisles of grocery stores in mid-Fall when the leaves start to turn. Typically astringent and sour when consumed raw, quinces lose this character when cooked and become sweet and fragrant- often finding their way into jams, preserves, and jellies due to their high pectin content. Thankfully, you can also get all of these unique quince characteristics by infusing them in alcohol and turning them into a fragrant and mellow amber liqueur. Quinces make for a unique and delicious liqueur that I've yet to see on any store shelves, and make for a truly great gift or a way to weather the holidays.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

- 2-3 large quinces (or more, depending on container size)
- Quantity of decent vodka, or other suitable hard liquor (enough to fill container)
- Quart sized mason jar (or other airtight container)
- Knife and cutting board
- Time (4+ weeks)
- A cool, dry place
- Coffee filters
- Funnel
- 2 or more cups sugar
- Decorative bottle of choice (for finished liqueur)

Time is the most important ingredient here. Select quinces that have a fragrant smell, and aren't too bruised or blemished- since quinces are relegated to the section of the grocery store where weird things go to die, you might have some trouble finding perfect quinces.


Do you think pealing the fruit before slicing it up would make much difference? Also, from quart sized mason jar, how much liquour did you end up with?

Moem made it!2 months ago

I made this, it was lovely! I don't have a picture so here's a big and well-deserved thumbs up.

VadimZ1 year ago
Tell me please. After infusion. Fruit mix with 1 tablespoon of sugar or 2 tablespoons of sugar?
Moem1 year ago
I definitely need to make this soon! Adding a favourite, so I can find it again.
timbit19852 years ago
If you have an old brita filter. you can run flavoured liquor through it to remove impurities and haze/
kill-a-watt3 years ago
I found some past-it's-prime fruit this summer, things still turned out pretty well even with me throwing away about half of the four quinces I bought.

I followed my limoncello recipe (3x 10-9-8 recipe, which is three lemons, 10 oz of 190 proof, and then later 9oz of sugar and 8 oz of filtered water), using the quinces and cutting away the bad spots.

Two runs through a coffee filter, yet I still had a haze. I let the stuff "settle" (float to the top) inside a "gravy separator" and poured off the bottom. Much clearer now.

It ended up pretty good tasting, but the flavors were a bit weak.
theabion (author)  kill-a-watt3 years ago
Hm. Did the quinces have a strong fruity smell? They may have been picked while unripe, and then started to go bad before they ever fully matured. And did you shred or slice? I found that shredded actually infused more flavor in a shorter amount of time, downside being more filtering. It isn't intense like a limoncello, but it should still have a pretty strong scent.
They had plenty of bad spots in like July, so I have to wonder if they were left over from last year's harvest. I sure had a lot of rot to cut away from each one.

I sliced the fruit after I cut away the bad spots.

If I can ever find quality fruit I'll try this again.
kill-a-watt4 years ago
The next step up from homemade limoncello! Looks great.

I usually do this with 190 proof grain and then dilute down to 80 proof with the sugar syrup, but I like your idea too.
I'm also surprised that the fruit isn't cooked first.
theabion (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
All the recipes I drew from when putting my version together called for raw fruit, which might be surprising given what some varieties of quince taste like when raw.
I looked up some of the chemistry behind quince aroma and flavor out of curiosity because of this initially- A large percentage of the volatile compounds that account for quince flavor and smell are alcohols and esters, which dissolve very well in alcohol and water.
As far as I can tell, the tannins that make quinces bitter aren't released in the infusion process. Which is a good thing, otherwise quince liqueur would be quite unpleasant.
I just found some quince, I came back to look up the recipe.

Maybe try this with Virginia persimmons too? They're chock full of tannins until softened, at which time you really need to race the raccoons to pick them first.
theabion (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
Sure! Give it a try! Maybe I've never had an amazing persimmon, but from my experience their flavor is really delicate. I'm interested in how it'd turn out.
How did the grated quince turn out? I am one of the few people in my circle who have much to do with quince - I think it's an old fashioned country fruit (here in Australia at least). It's a pity that it doesn't have that rich pink colour. I might try and make they syrup by cooking up the quince bits (or grated quince) with the sugar until it turns pink. What do you think?
theabion (author)  IBreakHeavyStuff4 years ago
It turned out better than the sliced version- it was sweeter and had a stronger flavor. The more surface area of the fruit you have touching alcohol, the less time it has to take to develop those stronger flavors. Bear in mind it took waay longer to filter the grated one because there's more stuff floating around.

Try cooking it first and then infusing is my suggestion! I've never tried getting that pink color, but any infused fruit tends to go bitter and nasty the longer it loses its flavors to the alcohol.
jen77144 years ago
Congratulations on your win in the Thanksgiving contest! Neat Instructable!
Very good íble, though i think i will stick to the local stuff on this one. Though i do live in Serbia where Quince Brandy is common place, both mass produced and domestic varieties. The vodka version is not really my thing but i could be persuaded to make a batch of Quince rum. Though my personal favourite is Honey Infused Plum Brandy it's the best you'll ever taste and certainly keeps you warm in winter!!!
theabion (author)  insidiousbag4 years ago
I have yet to find commercial quince liqueur or brandy here in Chicago, so I'm jealous it's so commonplace in Serbia. Truth be told, if I looked hard enough, I could probably find some- but making it on my own is quite fun as well.
I would also experiment with other fruits too if you find the time. Some of the better variations are raspberry, apricot and cherry.
right on...
This is a great 'ible; it is detailed, pictures help the explaination and is simple enough to want to try right away. I am looking forward to trying this. If it works out when I do it, maybe we can get the bar my wife works at to use it, and offer something nobody else in town has!