Kumquat Cocktail Recipe

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Kumquat Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Kumquat Cocktail is a relatively new addition to the cocktail scene, gaining popularity in the early 2000s. Its origins are believed to be in the tropical regions of Asia, where the kumquat fruit is native. This cocktail is a favorite among those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour flavors, with a hint of bitterness from the kumquat.

  • Originated in Asia
  • Gained popularity in the early 2000s
  • Loved by those who enjoy a balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors

How Kumquat Tastes?

The Kumquat Cocktail offers a unique blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. The sweetness of the sugar and the sourness of the lime juice perfectly balance the slight bitterness of the kumquat, resulting in a refreshing and invigorating cocktail.

Interesting facts about Kumquat

  • The kumquat fruit, which is the star of this cocktail, is native to Asia.
  • Despite its sweet and sour flavor, the kumquat is actually a type of citrus fruit.
  • The Kumquat Cocktail is often garnished with a slice of kumquat or a sprig of mint for an added touch of freshness.



Kumquats are a small citrus fruit with a sweet edible peel and tart flesh. They're muddled here to release their unique flavor - think of it like unlocking the essence of a tiny citrus vault. Too many and you’ll be puckering more than a flustered cartoon character, too few and the cocktail just hums a citrus tune rather than sings. Muddling is key; otherwise, you’ll get minimal flavor and no cheering crowd for the taste buds.

Alex Green


Sugar's sweet embrace balances the tartness of both the kumquats and lime juice. It's the peacemaker between the sharp flavors. 1 oz is just the right amount to smooth things over without turning your cocktail into a syrupy mess. Skip it and you're in for a tart-off, and not the delicious pastry kind.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

This tangy addition brings vibrancy to the cocktail. 1 oz of lime juice gives enough zing without turning the drink into a face-scrunching adventure. Lime also helps to extract flavors from the other ingredients as they're shaken together. No lime, no limelight. Alternatives? Lemon juice might play a similar role, but it has a different citrus profile, akin to a second cousin rather than a twin.

Mary Mitkina


Rum brings the party – it’s the main spirit after all. 2 oz is the perfect quantity to let the alcohol sing but not shout. If the kumquat is the lead vocalist, rum is the solid bass line. Leave it out, and you basically have fruit salad juice. Swap it? Try vodka if you want the other flavors to step forward or a flavored rum for extra dimension.

Alex Green

Ice Cubes

These chilly fellows are here to cool things down and dilute our cocktail just enough as they shake and melt. It's like inviting a polite guest that knows when to leave — they chill the party but don't overstay. No ice and you have a strong, undiluted concoction that could overwhelm.

Emma Rose

Mint Leaves

A hint of mint is like the final brushstroke on a masterpiece — it doesn't dominate but adds a refreshing high note and a pop of color. Forget it, and you miss the aromatic grand finale. Think of mint as the encore everybody’s waiting for after a rockstar performance by kumquat.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Kumquat Drink

  1. Muddle the kumquats and sugar in a shaker.
  2. Add the lime juice and rum.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake well.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass.
  5. Garnish with mint leaves.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Muddle the kumquats well to extract their juice and flavor.
  • Shake the mixture well to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled shrimp or lobster complements the citrus flavors.
  • Light white fish with minimal seasoning.

Spicy Dishes

  • Thai or Vietnamese dishes with a slight kick counterbalance the cocktail's sweetness.


  • Lemon tart or key lime pie accentuate the citrus notes.
  • Fruit sorbets for a refreshing combination.

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What you could change in Kumquat

  • If kumquats are not available, you can use oranges or tangerines.
  • You can replace the rum with vodka for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with K here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Kumquat Cocktail

  • Substitute 1 oz of rum with spiced rum to add a warm, spicy kick.
  • Add a small slice of jalapeño or a dash of cayenne pepper before muddling for extra heat.
  • The flavor profile will be daring, with the spiciness playing off the tartness of the kumquats.

Kumquat Caipirinha Spin

  • Use cachaça instead of rum for a Brazilian twist.
  • Muddle brown sugar instead of white sugar for a deeper sweetness.
  • This version offers a rustic, earthier flavor, celebrating cachaça's distinct character mingling with kumquat zest.

Kumquat and Basil Smash

  • Replace mint leaves with fresh basil.
  • Add a splash of elderflower liqueur.
  • Light and floral, this twist brings an herbaceous freshness and makes for a delightful spring or summer sipper.

In case you forgot basics how to make Kumquat

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Kumquat

What is the best time to enjoy a Kumquat cocktail?

The Kumquat cocktail is refreshing and light, making it a great choice for summer afternoons or early evenings.

Can I prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Kumquat cocktail?

Yes, you can omit the rum to make a non-alcoholic version. You could replace it with a non-alcoholic spirit or simply use more citrus juice.

Can I use frozen kumquats for this cocktail?

Yes, you can. Just remember to thaw them before using so they muddle properly.

Are there any variations of the Kumquat cocktail?

Yes, try adding a dash of bitters for a different flavor, or muddle in some fresh ginger for a spicy kick.

What food is the kumquat cocktail best paired with?

The Kumquat cocktail goes well with light starters or seafood dishes given its citrusy and refreshing flavors.

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