With the help of Stillwater Spirits, Meadowood bartender Sam Levy combined an apple mash with native yeast and fresh apples to distill his own eau de vie, which was then aged in American oak. When applied to his Vieux Carré, Levy infused the eau de vie with winter-sturdy Asian pears and quince from Meadowood’s Napa Valley grounds along with spicebush, vanilla, nutmeg and orange.
Meadowood’s Quince & Asian Pear Brandy
Sam Levy, The Restaurant at Meadowood | Napa Valley, CA
Yield: 1.9 - 2 liters
- 4 asian pears
- 4 pineapple quince
- 2 liters apple brandy
- 3 spicebush branches (6 inches each)
- 5 spicebush seed pods
- 1 nutmeg (crushed)
- 1 orange peel
- Peel, core and poach the Asian pears and quince, then add them to the brandy.
- Add all spices to the mix and infuse. (If you want a heavier/roasted flavor, toast the spices, except vanilla & orange peel, in a pan until they just begin to smoke and then add to the infusion.
- Infuse for a week (give or take a day or two), monitoring the balance of spices, removing any that become overpowering.
- When ready to bottle, out all solids through at least a triple layer of cheesecloth or a Chemex coffee filter.