“I’m going to use flower essences to adjust your pulse until it gets juicy,” the acupuncturist helpfully explained to me. I had no idea what she was talking about, and what’s more, I didn’t care. Just fix me, use petals, whatever. This talk of juicy, pulsing flower essences was making me thirsty, and possibly eager to dip into a romance novel. As she stuck a needle into the top of my head I thought: my life is crying out for a floral cocktail.
I like floral notes in drinks and food because they can cause you to pause and wonder. For me, “That’s intriguing,” is preferable to “that’s weird,” which is why I don’t think of myself as a foodie. I like a bit of mystery, but I don’t want to detect notes of nail polish remover.
My favorite of my husband’s coworkers brought me quinces from his personal orchard again. This peculiar fruit has to be cooked, and is not edible otherwise, even to the most desperate and foolhardy of eaters. But as is often not the case, cooking creates, rather than dulls, their unique color. I’ve written before about this peculiar fruit and its distinctive rosy scent. Quince jam seemed just the ingredient for a floral margarita, the acupuncture-inspired, wellness-adjacent cocktail I was looking for. Is it good for you? Sure, if you want it to be.
I let the quinces sit for a week – it’s important that they cure. Actually I was just lazy. On Saturday I finally set about making membrillo, or paste, which involves hours of stirring. It’s labor- intensive but a lite, floral-scented labor, if a sticky one. You can watch a couple episodes of Grantchester as you stir, if like me, you are good at doing several things – not at all well – at once. Last night my husband laughed at me getting into the tub with a glass of whiskey, a bowl of pasta, and Sydney Chambers (the dishy main character on Grantchester, served up via my iPad). “Think how long it would take if I did each of these things one at a time,” I said.
When the acupuncturist said she was going to use flower essences I wondered where she was going to put them: in the air? on my temples? The answer: under my tongue. She told me that after discussing the most personal of bodily complaints and anomalies, it’s the revealing of one’s tongue where patients often balk. It’s one thing to tell, it’s another to show, I suppose. I suggest you give that unsightly muscle something useful to do in the form of a quince margarita. A couple sips and you will willingly show anyone your tongue. But best to refrain.
Quince Margarita from The Splendid Market
Use a blender to mix together equal (more or less) portions of:
fresh squeezed lime juice
fresh squeezed lemon juice
I realize this is not precise. I used about 1/4 of a cup of the first three, and then poured the mixture over ice with one shot of tequila. You can forego a blender if you place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and do some vigorous shaking. I realize not everyone has simple syrup handy – I did not so I skipped it (warning: TART). I would advise adding sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Again, vigorous shaking or blending is called for. A sugared rim would not hurt this situation at all.
If you omit the alcohol, I suggest fashioning a sort of Quince Fizz,* using sparkling water. Adjust the other ingredients until it’s flavorful enough for you.
*Not to be confused with a Quince Gin Fizz, which I discovered while doing my cocktail research. I can’t wait to try this one too.