Kumquat May Martini

May 14, 2015

My great grandmother planted a couple of trees next to (and now under) the giant pecan trees in the backyard of the house I live in. They are large but almost look like overgrown bushes in comparison to the 80-year-old pecans. But I kept them around because the leaves are pretty and they are evergreen and oh my gosh I just figured out that they are kumquat trees. Mostly because they are producing at lot of kumquats right now.


I told my brother David about this and he mentioned that he had consumed this incredible kumquat drink in Canada (I know, that sentence is funny) and that he would email the bartender to get the drink recipe. Because of course my brother has the email of a bartender who makes mean kumquat drinks in Canada. Just in case.


So yesterday I get this forwarded email from my brother.

Hello Mr. Harrison!

I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. It’s nice to know that my cocktail was memorable enough for you to ask for the recipe.  I’m flattered and more than happy to share my secrets with you:

 Although Kumquats would be delicious I’m sure… I actually use ground cherries  for this drink, also known as Physalis.

Fred’s Original Loosey Goosey 

(From the the Mallard Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler)

-Muddle 6 Physalis in shaker glass


-1.5 oz. of your favorite gin (I use Tanqueray)

-.5oz. St-Germain Liqueur (also delicious with Champagne)

-.75 oz. FRESHLY SQUEEZED lemon juice

-.5 oz. simple syrup (1/2 sugar 1/2 water ratio)

 Shake all ingredients and fine strain to avoid having seeds in the drink. Serve up in chilled martini glass garnished with ground cherry on the rim.


Wishing you and your wife a great summer.


Fred Lemieux

So, our take-homes here are A) Fred Lemieux is awesome. And B) I now want to go to Whistler and stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Amen.


Also, I like Fred’s ideas here. But I’m not a super fan of cherries, I don’t really know what Physalis are, and I have about 568 kumquats in my tree outside.


So I made my own recipe and because I wanted to use what we already had in the house…which mainly means that I didn’t want to put on pants and/or leave my home to go to any stores. This is what I had, so this is what I did:


Kumquat May Martini  

-Muddle 3 Kumquats in shaker glass


-1 oz. of your favorite gin (I use Bombay Sapphire)

-.5oz. Prosecco (also delicious with Champagne)

-.75 oz. FRESHLY SQUEEZED mandarin cutie (this would also be really great with lemon but I didn’t have any lemons)

-.5 oz. simple syrup (1/2 sugar 1/2 water ratio) (I didn’t have this so I made it. Boil sugar in water. Done.)

Shake all ingredients and fine strain to avoid having too much fruit in the drink. Serve up in chilled martini glass garnished with kumquat + rosemary on the rim.


If you don’t have any rosemary, just go ahead and get a rosemary plant and plant it.


It grows like crazy, smells good, makes the bees happy and you always need it. This one is a little out of control but I’ll do something about that eventually.


Also, I finally just took a few sips and it’s possibly the most yummy drink ever.




How to Grow Your Own Kumquats

How to Grow Kumquats in Garden Pots

Buy a 2-3 Year Old Kumquat Tree in a Pot. Party.

Soundtrack: Come What May. Or the Glee version. 


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  • Reply M May 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    You might wanna check — I’m pretty sure those are loquats. Kumquats are tiny citrus, loquats are more like peaches/apricots, etc.


  • Reply Molly May 16, 2015 at 10:09 am

    You should try ground cherries! I just discovered them last fall; they are actually similar to a cross between tomatoes and tomatillos and taste amazing! I’m trying to grow them this summer, but clearly things grow so much more easily in Texas (then Denver). I love kumquats and wish I could have a tree of them in my backyard-did those brown seeds come out of them? I’ve never seen those in the kumquats I buy at the store.

  • Reply Paula May 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Those are actually loquats. Kumquats are in the citrus family.

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