We are enjoying what feels like the last proper rain here in Sonoma Valley. Hunkered down in old favorite sweatshirts with a big fire going and watching “Little Einstein” with the kids for the umpteenth friggin’ time. And having a total craving for Kumquat Tea… Probably because I just finished a study of my mom’s little tree:
“What in blazes is Kumquat Tea?” you ask? An elixir of the Gods with a midwestern flair, that’s what. I’m not quite sure where my family got the recipe but toss in a shot of bourbon and you’ve got something golden in your mug.
Seems like we’ve always grown Kumquats in a big ceramic pot in the backyard. Pretty green leaves, fragrant white blossoms and then green little fruits ripening into orange. Growing up, we’d pick these oval fruits for that unique zing of citrus. Reading about them today I learned Kumquats are a citrus fruit that originated in South Asia — specifically Japan, Taiwan, and China — before being imported to England by the London Horticultural Society in the late 1840s.
Ripe Kumquats are the size of an olive and in fine food stores right now. They are seasonal so pick up several handfuls while you can…
- 5-10 fresh Kumquats
- 2-3 cups good water
- Swirl of dark honey (if desired)
- 1/2 to 1 shot bourbon (if desired)
In one small sauce pan, add 2-3 cups good, clean water. Thinly slice 5-7 washed kumquats and add to pan. Turn heat to high until just boiling. Then reduce to simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes.
When the tea is fragrant, it is ready!
Pour all contents into large mug — including fruit rinds. (Seeds too). Add honey or bourbon if desired. I add bourbon but not honey unless the Kumquats are a bit too tart. And sip.
Save the rinds for the end and enjoy with a spoon… they will have soaked up some of the whiskey or bourbon flavors and be DIVINE. Perfect for the cooler parts of Spring.