Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Loquacious Cocktail

I want to tell you about loquats again because the first time I told the story, it was four years ago and I was probably the only person who read it. It's the story of how I didn't grow up with loquat trees, but I fell for them immediately after moving to Austin and seeing them everywhere. So, of course we planted a loquat tree in our backyard. Some years are better than others regarding how much fruit the tree produces, and some years are better than others regarding how many loquats the birds let me have. They're usually very fast to steal the fruit as soon as it ripens, but this was a good year and the tree was laden with enough fruit for me and the birds. Our tree is tall now, so I was standing on a ladder, holding a bowl, picking the little, orange fruits, and popping a few directly into my mouth when I remembered reading about the Loquacious in the book The American Cocktail. This drink was invented by David Alan, the Tipsy Texan, also from Austin, and it involves muddling seeded loquats in a cocktail shaker.

Loquats have big seeds for their size, but the seeds slip right out when you cut the loquats in half. For some uses, you also need to peel loquats, but here they were just seeded and quartered. About six loquats were used per cocktail, and they were muddled in a cocktail shaker with some simple syrup. Vodka, preferably Tito's of course, limoncello or Paula's Texas Lemon, and I had some homemade limoncello on hand, lime juice, and ice were then added to the shaker. The cocktails were shaken and double-strained into chilled glasses.

The flavor of loquats is like mild apricot, and the limoncello and lime juice accompanied it nicely. And, the pretty orange of the fruit gave the cocktail great color. Our tree has been picked clean of fruit for this year, and who knows if the birds will share next spring, but it was fun to toast the tree with a cocktail of its making while I could.


26 comments:

  1. we have a next-door neighbor who lets us pick kumquats, but on our walk the other night, we noticed a loquat tree in the front yard of another house. we don't know the folks who live there, but I was already thinking about knocking on their door to ask if I could pick some--and this cocktail confirms my desire!

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  2. I adore Loquats but for some reason never thought of drinking them!!! Oh goodness, I'm in trouble!

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa...

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  3. I have never tasted a loquat, but this cocktail is gorgeous...and I'd be happy to taste test for you anytime :)

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  4. Pretty cocktail! And a nice recipe. I don't often buy loquats - I don't know why, because they have a nice flavor. Nice pictures, really nice post - thanks.

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  5. I've never had those fruits, but I'm sure i'd love your cocktail!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. I never heard of this fruit. Thanks for sharing the story again and the cocktail sounds super refreshing. Love the color too!

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  7. I heart this story and the pictures so much. I grew up in Houston and we had one. It was magical to me that I could walk up to it and pull 'candy' off of it. Last year I attempted to plant 4 of them. I was so proud of myself (not a gardener.) They looked so pretty and were going strong until one day I walked out and they were gone. I mean completely disappeared. After walking around I found the stump of one - stripped completely naked - then the others. The deer had gotten them. For about 2 days I thought about taking up hunting but luckily the feeling passed... As soon as I get out of Westlake I'm planting myself a loquat again - thanks to you!!

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  8. oh goodness gracious..wat an inviting drink
    Tasty Appetite

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  9. I love apricots, so I would love these. Love how refreshing this looks Lisa!

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  10. I'm so sad that I've never even heard of loquats before, let alone tasted one! I think I need to visit Austin...

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  11. If any of us grew up with loquat trees, we'd be very lucky, indeed. I don't know of anyone who grows them. But I sure wish I did! ;)

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  12. I've never had a loquat tree but have had quite a few kumquats. This cocktail looks terrific.

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  13. They kind of look like an apricot too. I've never tasted one and would love to. Wonder if they grow in Florida?
    The drink sounds divine.

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  14. Loquats were so common in Cyprus that each house had 2 or 3 trees in our yard and we took them for granted and because they were everywhere you couldn't find them in any market or grocery. In Athens although we have one in our back yard there are so many families living in our building that we don't stand a chance to go and pick some :) The cocktail sounds very refreshing.

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  15. We don't have loquats in Canada. What a delicious drink.

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  16. Lucky lady! I would kill for a cocktail right about now and this one looks especially inviting. I wasn't familiar with loquats previously- you mostly see kumquat trees where I grew up. I hear they're similar in taste but I've yet to find out. I fear I've waited too late to go foraging for loquats this year- seems like they've grown in popularity exponentially. Must mean they're pretty good!

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  17. You know my grand mom use to love love Loquats... I have to say I got my love for fruits and veggies from her...
    These look sinfully delicious!!
    Yumm....

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  18. I have never tried Loquats but would love to try this drink. Looks superb!

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  19. Shelley: Wish I still had some loquats to share! They lack the citrusy tartness of kumquats and are really pretty mild in flavor. And, it takes a lot of them to bake with them or make jam since they're about half fruit and half seed.

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  20. Lisa, I had to google it to find out what fruit it is in Portuguese - "nespera" - very unusual name.. ;-) I haven't had one since I left Brazil 20 years ago!

    Didn't know one could make a drink with it, very nice idea! I haven't seen this fruit around Oklahoma yet.

    I wonder if it is the type of fruit you could protect with a paper bag when it is just forming, to prevent the birds from getting to it? It's a ton of work, though... probably not worth it

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  21. What a lovely drink! I need to get some loquats soon to try!

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  22. i've never had a loquat before, but i'm excited because i haven't used the word loquacious in a long time and it deserves to be brought back into the rotation!

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  23. I have never heard of these. When I was a kid we had cumquats which kind of look similar. The name is close! They were bitter and a bit like a mandarin :)

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  24. This year definitely _was_ a good year for loquats. I actually can't recall there ever being another time when I've seen so much ripe fruit on the tree. I love that your toasted the tree - a delicious way to say, "Thank You."

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  25. I've never had loquats but they sound delicious! I've been really into cocktails lately. Can't wait to try this!

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  26. I live in Palm Coast FL and bought a house that has two huge Loquat trees in the back yard! I have been looking for what to do with my fruit once it ripens...this looks amazing! I am feeling really fortunate now to have them!

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