I’m going to start this post with my oft-repeated chorus, “If you follow me on Instagram…” you’ll know that I had a hell of a time trying to locate kumquats in Ottawa around this time last year.
The whole ordeal inspired an impassioned rant on my Instagram story about how terribly provisioned our downtown grocery stores are in Ottawa.
Well, friends, turns out if you venture a little farther south into the Glebe (where the fancy folks live) – you can get yourself some top-notch exotic citrus. These little gems of glory are kumquats.
Native to South Asia, the noble kumquat is about the size of a large olive and is eaten skin and all. The flesh of the fruit is sour, not dissimilar from a lime but the skin is sweet and the net effect is a sweet-tart taste.
This winter warmer isn’t dissimilar from your classic hot toddy – citrus, rum, hot water, and sweetener. This Kumquat Toddy has more pucker than your standard toddy because these little fruit pack a punch.
I’ve prepared this version with aged amber rum because I like the subtle molasses sweetness of this spirit and how it balances out the tartness of the kumquat. But – if you wanted to play with the recipe, you could try making it with brandy or whisky if you wanted to try out different flavour profiles.
If you live in Ottawa, I recommend paying a visit to the Metro in the Glebe to get your hands on your own kumquats. Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck on your journey – might be worth checking in at a gourmet or Asian grocer!
- 2 oz amber rum
- ¾ oz Kumquat Syrup recipe follows
- ½ oz strained fresh lime juice
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 4 oz boiling water plus more for warming mug
- Candied Kumquat recipe follows on cocktail pick
- 12 kumquats
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
Fill a glass coffee mug with boiling water. Let stand 30 seconds. Dump water and dry outside of mug.
Place rum, kumquat syrup, lime juice and bitters in mug. Pour in boiling water. Garnish with kumquat slices.
Slice kumquats into ¼-inch-thick (5-mm) rounds. Using a skewer, poke out seeds.
In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Add kumquat slices. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kumquats are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Transfer kumquats and their syrup to a glass jar with lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.
Recipe from: Vellend, Eric. “Leap Grog.” Food & Drink. Holiday 2017.