Kumquat Tea… with bourbon

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:

Kumquat Tree, 2013, oil on canvas board 11x14"

“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…

KUMQUAT TEA

  • 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.

8 thoughts on “Kumquat Tea… with bourbon

  1. I adore your painting. Adore it. Much of your work usually speaks to me on some level, but for some reason this kumquat tree clicks with a deep part of me. I had a great friend Tom once who showed me some kumquat trees along a path I had traveled well but had never stopped to savor. I hadn’t even realized kumquats grew there… Years later, he harvested kumquats from those trees and turned them into jam as a wedding present. A reminder to stop and enjoy and look around..

    This tea sounds lovely.

  2. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Kudos!

    • Hi! I went with Go Daddy and bought a stand alone domain. Then called them and they walked me through the WordPress set up. Super helpful and easy once they explained it to me. 🙂

      • Japanese Kyoho type slip-skin grapes?Or even betetr — if you ever have the luck to try those from Korea (not just those Japanese ones from Isetan or Medi-ya), they are truly heavenly.I used to think that grape flavoured sweets were artificial in taste, till I ate those. Then I realized that the grape flavour were based on grapes like those. Slip them out of the skin by squeezing the base gently. Wow!They still don’t tempt me to drink alcohol though. Haha.

    • They look like quince, or psrisemon, either of which has to be dead ripe, almost rotten, in fact, before it is edible. Talk to any one from the south (US). Eating either of these fruits too early is like eating alum powder. Not very pleasant. Not merely sour, But like eating a styptic (shaving) pencil. They make a nice jam, when ripe, however. If you like citrus marmalde.Tom

  3. I guess, like Persimmon, Quince, Pomengranate, Gosseberry or Ruhbarb, ( ok, not actually a fruit, but great whn mixed with stwbiaerrres) it is an acquired taste, and not overtly sweet, for sure. Like key limes, or blood oranges.

  4. I Talk to any one from the south (US). Eating either of these fruits too early is like eating alum powder. Not very pleasant. Not merely sour, But like eating a styptic (shaving) pencil. They make a nice jam, when ripe, however. If you like citrus marmalde.

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