The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Quince and Clove Sour: A Cocktail Weeks in the Making

August 13th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Posted in entertaining, Recipes

Plan this around your next trip to England

Plan this around your next trip to England

We needed a delivery of “Pink Cloves” cordial from a friend living in London, but finally last night we were able to sample a cocktail my wife has been working on quite literally for weeks. It’s called a Hendrick’s Quince and Clove Sour, and she found it on the amusingly Monty Python-esque Hendrick’s Gin website.

We’ve embraced Hendrick’s, a gin flavored with cucumber, as our new most favorite gin. Although I try not to drink alcohol any more (bad for the waistline and blood pressure), my wife and I still enjoy an occasional cocktail. This one calls for Pink Cloves cordial, made by the Bristish company Phillip’s of Bristol. We did not find a source for this in the U.S. and wish we did. Phillip’s makes a whole line of intriguing cordials, including anise seed, lovage and something called “shrub.” Who knew?

My wife sent a shopping list to our friend Desson, on assignment in the United Kingdom, and he came back recently with three bottles of Pink Cloves and a story about the devil of a time he had finding them even on Phillip’s home shores. (The next question being, What do you do with three bottles of Pink Cloves cordial?)

Pink Cloves cordial from Phillip's of Bristol

Pink Cloves cordial from Phillip's of Bristol

This particular cocktail also calls for quince preserves. What? Your local Safeway doesn’t carry quince preserves? In that case, you may need to take a trip to Rodman’s, a most unusual pharmacy and grocery store here in the District of Columbia. My wife took me there for the first time yesterday, and I got lost perusing pickles and canned sardines of every possible description. They devote practically an entire aisle to jams and preserves. It’s a United Nations of confections.

To make a Quince and Clove Sour, mix 1 2/3 ounces Hendrick’s Gin, 1 teaspoon quince preserves, 2/3 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 ounce honey syrup (mix honey with a little hot water) and a splash of Pink Cloves cordial. Mix with ice and shake, then pour into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

You can find more Hendrick’s cocktails at the company’s website, and at the blog–Unusual Times–that’s linked there.

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  • The Table of Promise

    How lovely! I love an interesting cocktail.

    What makes the ‘Pink Cloves Cordial’ pink?

    I recently made pickled peaches (it is actually on my blog today), and I have been considering using the syrup to make a cocktail once all the peaches have been eaten. I’d hate to let that delicious peach and clove infused liquid go to waste. It kind of reminds me of this cordial.

  • Anna Froehlich

    That sounds delicious, although I’m not sure I could wait for weeks….. did you happen to find out what ‘shrub’ is?

  • Emily

    You might really like shrub – the kind I know is fruit juice and raw apple cider, steeped for a few days, then mixed with water and ice for a refreshing summer drink. Some vitamins, minor probiotics, and flavor…helps keep the water interesting and they hydration solid.

  • Sylvie in Rappahannock

    @The Table of Promise. “Pink” is the name of an edible flower in the carnation family. They look like a miniature carnation, typically only one row of petals, they are incredibly fragrant and generally pink. I bet they are a part of “Pink Clove Cordial Cordial”

    @Anna. You may want to read one of my blog post about “shrub”.

    Ed – besides quince jam, I made quince liqueur last fall. Next time you are around, will have to have you try some….

  • Ed Bruske

    Sylvie, you know we are always up for that.

  • Jonny Hamachi

    Great Post!

    Wish we had Rodman’s round here.

    Welcome to the Society.