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.