Kumquats might not be the first fruit you think to turn to for using in cocktails. The tiny orange citrus fruit, although packed full of tart flavor some describe as between a lime and a tangerine, yields almost no juice. Even if you had the patience to try squeezing dozens of them, akin to trying to make a Daiquiri with key limes, it would get you nowhere. Fortunately, there are other ways of incorporating the fruit’s unique flavor into your drinks. This recipe from bar star Naren Young uses an innovative one.
A riff on the iconic Breakfast Martini created by London bartender Salvatore Calabrese, Young’s recipe calls for making a kumquat marmalade, cooking the fruit into the classic jam-like treat along with a variety of spices, and incorporating a heaping bar spoon of the marmalade into the drink. When it’s shaken with gin, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lemon juice, the resulting cocktail features layers of citrus flavors.
It might be a bit much for an ordinary breakfast, despite its name, but it does make a great brunch cocktail, and is lovely at any time of day.
- 1 1/2 ounces London Dry gin
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 heaping barspoon kumquat marmalade*
- Garnish: orange twist
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with an orange twist.
*Kumquat marmalade: Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Add 2 cups kumquats, cut into quarters. Press down using a potato masher to release more flavor from the fruit. Bring back to a low boil and add 1 star anise pod, 4 black peppercorns, a small pinch of saffron, 1 teaspoons grated ginger, 1 cinnamon stick, and 2 cardamom pods, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced (it will thicken more as it cools). Remove from heat and allow to cool before using. Will keep, tightly sealed and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.