Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mrs. Yi's Kumquat Liqueur

Never mind the Bullitt Bourbon bottle. Mrs. Yi and I have access through a source in Florida to all the free kumquats we could ever want. Over the past several years, Mrs. Yi has been using them to make this glorious kumquat liqueur. It's a wonderful libation in its own right and is also an apt substitute for Grand Marnier, Cointreaux, Curacao, and and spirits of similar persuasion. All Mrs. Yi needs are a wide-mouthed two quart container, enough kumquats to fill it, two cups of powdered sugar, and a quart of vodka.

She begins by washing the kumquats, getting rid of any that are not completely fresh, then removing any bits of stem. Next she cuts each kumquat in half, lengthwise or crosswise, it doesn't matter, and places them in the container, layering the kumquat halves alternately with powdered sugar until the container is full. After filling the container with vodka, Mrs. Yi then covers it tightly and shakes it vigorously until the sugar---most of it at least---is dissolved. After that, the container remains on a shelf for the next two months. She remembers to flip it nearly every day so that one day the container is right side up, the next day upside down, and so forth. When the two months have passed, she scoops out all the solids, namely the halved kumquats. Thereafter, the container and the liqueur within stays on a shelf for another two months, allowing the sediment time to settle on the bottom. When the liqueur is clear, it can be slowly funnelled off into bottles through cheesecloth or a tea strainer.

More often than not, kumquat liqueur will serve the purpose of almost any citrus based spirit. The Calvados kumquat sour to be shared here is our own invention.


3 ounces Calvados

1 ounce kumquat liqueur

4 teaspoons lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a martini glass