The World According to the Drink-Syrup Masters of Quince & Apple

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Meet Matt and Clare, the delightful founders and faces behind Quince & Apple, one of our favorite makers for drink syrups and jams. The dynamic duo handcrafts small-batch preserves and drink syrups out of their kitchen in Madison, Wisconsin, and their passion and attention to detail shines in each inventive flavor (Honey Lemon syrup, anyone?) they create. They were kind enough to share with us a little behind-the-scenes of the business side of things, as well as a fantastic Faux Kir cocktail recipe (below), perfect for the holidays. ~Kate

Why do you make food? What makes you get up early or stay up late to do what is generally considered to be some of the hardest work out there?

Is it considered the hardest work out there? We guess we can see why. It’s physical. But what job is more fun than creating something? And something delicious that excites the senses?

What’s been the greatest struggle in becoming a professional maker?

The hardest thing we went through was getting started. We had two camp-stove burners and made jam in a cracker kitchen from 5:00 pm until we finished – sometimes 3:00 in the morning! There were so many times we thought we wouldn’t make it, but when one of us would question, the other would be confident. We couldn’t have done it without each other.

What dish makes your products shine?

We make our products to complement other hand-crafted delectables. Our preserves pair perfectly with Wisconsin’s artisan cheeses and the cocktail syrups are made to stir into local craft spirits.

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What do you eat when no one is looking?

Guilty pleasures … we eat them all. We love food from top to bottom. Some of our favorites are gummy worms and doughnuts.

Tell us about your prize kitchen tool.

One of our favorite things is a wooden cherry press. It is gorgeous and beautiful. When you put the cherries in, it creates a sparkling red juice that becomes our Tart Cherry Grenadine.

Share a little tip to inspire a home cook, to help them save time in the kitchen or to motivate them to take their cooking or food gifting to the next level.

Have confidence. We think the best way to learn to cook is to get the basics and improvise. Salt, pepper, and olive oil will take you far.

What’s the best homemade food gift you’ve ever received?

We think the best food memories are the things our moms and grandmas made when we were little. Grandma’s cranberry bread will always be a favorite.

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Faux Kir

Courtesy of Quince and Apple

Makes: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Quince & Apple Tart Cherry Grenadine
  • 4 ounces Sparkling Cider
  • 1 whole raspberry, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour grenadine into bottom of champagne flute and fill with sparkling cider. Garnish with raspberry.
Photos courtesy of Quince & Apple.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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