Innovative Western Australian liquor-crafters have turned their hands to the the native quondong, developing a beer and a gin from the tangy bush-tucker fruit.
Described as peach-like with a pit like a macadamia nut, the bright red quandong is native to south and western Australia where recent heavy rainfall has led to a bumper crop of oversized fruit.
Matt Wilson, a craft brewer in Albany, WA, told the ABC he was inspired to create a quandong beer with the help of a local tour operator, Joey Williams.
"They're in season at the moment, so Joey went out and handpicked them and delivered to us," he said. Recent rainfall has boosted the local quandong crop, causing the fruits – often no bigger than a cherry – to grow as large as golf balls.
The pair are exploring how beer’s ingredients of hops, yeast, and malted barley complement the native fruit, known for its bitter flavour.
Meanwhile, in Margaret River, a quandong has been included as a botanical in a special edition Christmas gin by a local distillery Limeburners, drawing on the fruit’s sweeter tones.
We are very excited to unveil our limited edition Giniversity Christmas Gin! At Margaret River Distilling Co. we’ve created a limited edition Christmas Gin, capturing unique flavours of Quandong and summer fruits, to help you celebrate the season and create unique memories that are an Australian Christmas. Complete with custom hand crafted Giniversity leather keychain and linen Christmas sack. Share this gin with someone who matters to you this Christmas. Link to purchase in bio????
The unique bitter and sweet flavour of the quandong fruit makes for a versatile ingredient that can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. Naturally high in vitamin C, it is popular in pie fillings, relishes, or served stewed.
Recovering caffeine-addict and serial bruncher Eliza Murray feels most at home typing away in a cozy cafe with her re-mortgaged avocado toast nearby. When she isn't reporting on the latest Instagram-shattering glittery food trends, she can be found experimenting with new gin garnishes (hello strawberries!) or biting into an entire wheel of brie (no shame). She tweets @theothereliza