Kumquat Margaritas

Happy Friday and happy hour! With kumquats. My new favorite fruit. And word.

Do these margaritas make you feel like summer’s here yet? It’s been hot, and these are incredibly refreshing. I’d been drinking water all day, but this fruity cocktail is what made me forget about thirst.

And they’re orange, which my mom would tell you was my favorite color for a while. Back when my dream car was a Lamborghini Diablo in an iridescent shade of look-at-me tangerine. One year I dressed up as a last-minute orange for a Halloween party.

Okay, I’m done now. But just looking at these orangey margaritas makes me happy.

I had my first kumquat not long ago as part of a salad. Isn’t this label for the kumquat carton cute? It feels… vintage. I’m digging the lady kumquat doing her dance. And yes, kumquat growers, this is an exciting new taste treat for me.

Kumquats are small, about the size of grape tomatoes. Sweet and tart. They look and taste bright.

These drinks happened one afternoon when Danny took a nap and I went for a walk on Bayshore. He couldn’t sleep and cut his nap short. It was ridiculously windy for a walk. I kept getting debris in my eyes and could barely hear the music from my headphones. So I cut my walk short, thinking margaritas would be better. As I’m walking up to the store, I see Danny walking out with a bag of the goods and “Cointreau” written on his hand. Ha! We hang out so much, it was so surprising to run into him.

These cocktails are really tasty. They’re not very sweet, which I like. But you can always add more agave nectar if you like things a bit sweeter. I probably wouldn’t use honey instead of agave for this drink. Agave nectar has a more subtle flavor, and it’s thinner, meaning it’s easier to work with.

The recipe below makes one drink. But a margarita is a fun drink, not a sub for a glass of wine with dinner. Bring a friend and shake up at least two.

kumquat margaritas

makes 1 drink, adapted from Serious Eats

  • 7 kumquats, sliced
  • 2 ounces 100% agave tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1/4 ounces agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt for the rim

Slice 6 kumquats and remove the seeds. Slice the last kumquat, and set that one aside.

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, thoroughly muddle six sliced kumquats. (At least 15 hefty muddles).

Prepare your glass by wetting the rim and dipping it in salt.  Set aside.

Add tequila, Cointreau, and agave nectar to the muddled kumquats. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 to 20 seconds.

Fill your glass with ice cubes and strain margarita into the glass. Stir the slices of the last kumquat into the drink, saving one to garnish the rim of the glass.

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