A blog for innovative, unabashed and delightful cocktails. All posted recipes are my original creations. Check out the links for other quality sites that review both classic and hard-to-find recipes from other sources.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kumquat Mojo

With astonishment I realized that I had not posted in weeks. I suppose it was one of those stealth work crushes -- no one particular matter taking the lead, but instead a handful of demanding projects. On the local traffic reports, they call that situation "volume" on the highways -- no crashes blocking the way, just way too much traffic to get through in a timely manner.

Against that backdrop, I was getting concerned about my cocktail mojo. For weeks I shook up classic but unblogworthy recipes after a long day's work -- bourbon on the rocks, martinis, port manhattans, lemon drops. When I finally undertook a new creation two mights ago, it was horrid. It was reminiscent of the medicine cabinet, and went straight to the drain. What was going on? Was I losing my mixology mojo? Was I tired? Uninspired? A little worried?

In an effort to get back on track, I took a spin through the produce section this afternoon looking for inspiration. I saw all kinds of fruit. Berries -- not in season, imported from Peru. Citrus -- lemons, limes, oranges, all in season, but nothing new. Same with apples and pears. Then I saw a small box of kumquats, vibrant, tiny and orange, in the peak of their winter season. I scooped up a generous handful and made my way to the checkout. Luck continued to smile on me as the cashier could not find the product code after repeated attempts and settled for pricing them as eggplants, at a fraction of the posted price.

On the drive home I popped a whole fruit in my mouth. As I crushed through the thin rind, the flavor was citrusy, plentiful and sweet, but soon the flesh burst with the tart juices inside, leaving a playful balance of sweet and sour, along with a hint of bitterness from the minimal pith.

My plan was paintakingly to juice the kumquats, at the cost of sacrificing the sweet oils in the rind. Perhaps I could preserve the rind experience through a garnish. In short order I halved and pinched the juice out of the fruits, then strained the (surprisingly big) seeds and pulp out. About fifteen of them yielded about a half ounce of juice.

I softened the extreme tartness with a little honey syrup, and the complementary flavor of orange vodka. I shook it, tested it...and I think perhaps the mixology mojo is back.

Kumquat Mojo

2 oz orange vodka (I used Absolut Mandrin)
1 1/4 oz honey syrup
1/2 oz kumquat juice (freshly squeezed and strained)

Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Consider a rim garnished with turbonado sugar, along with a skewered slice or two of kumquat rind.

1 comment:

The Exception said...

This is delightful in the sounds of the flavors. It is a taste of spring in the midst of winter. Good to see you have "it" back!