My loquat tree finally has ripe fruit on it. I’ve been waiting for this for a year. We’ve fertilized the tree, given it lots of water, and our sickly tree has grown beautiful over the last 12 months and finally has a good harvest of loquats on it.
I love loquat fruit. When it’s ripe (golden orange fruit) it has a sweet, tropical flavor. If it is slightly under-ripe (dark yellow) it tastes like a sweet/tart candy. The fruit’s skin is a little fuzzy, like a peach, and it has a pit of one or two seeds. Don’t eat the seeds! They contain cyanide. Swallowing one or two is fine, but don’t go eating a handful. Do, however, save the seeds, because they have a particularly delicious use.
Vodquat (my name for this loquat-seed liquor) is made by soaking the loquat seeds in vodka or grain alcohol. The strange thing about vodquat is that it doesn’t taste like loquats. It tastes like amaretto. The seeds have an amazing cherry aroma and impart that flavor to items it is cooked/soaked in.
Soak one to two quarts of clean, whole Loquat seeds in a tight jar with a quart of vodka for one to six months. At the end of soaking time, drain the now flavored vodka and split it evenly between two fifth bottles. On the stove create sugar water by mixing equal parts of sugar and water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Top off each fifth with the sugar water. If you want it less sweet use less sugar, or more vodka.
I recommend waiting a month or two after finishing the vodquat with the sugar water before tasting. This will give it time to meld all the flavors together. And its true, the longer you soak the seeds, the more flavor your vodquat will have.
On a final note, vodquat makes a great gift. My family looks forward to getting a small bottle of home-made amaretto every year at Christmas. It’s a great cold weather treat, and it tastes all the better for having made it yourself. If you don’t have loquat trees on your property, keep an eye out for them while you are driving around town.
If you live in Florida, you are likely to drive by a tree or two no matter where you are going in the state. I have asked my friends to collect loquat for me from their trees and neighbors. Most people with loquat trees have more fruit than they know what to do with. So ask around, and I am sure you will be able to acquire enough loquat seeds to make plenty of vodquat for holiday gift-giving.