Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kumquat Sour

Our newest cocktail is up on our column for Whole Foods Market Cooking: the Kumquat Sour!
(Whole Foods Market Cooking is no longer available online, so I am reposting the article below...)

I am willing to bet that I'm not alone in picking up a handful of kumquats at the store and then simply not knowing what to do with them when I get home. Just what are they anyway? They seem to be tiny little oranges in reverse with a sweet citrus peel and a tart center. But whether or not they are even a citrus fruit seems to be up for debate. Let us assure you, once you mix up your kumquats with some Stranahan's whiskey, you won't care at all about the botanical history of these enigmatic little fruits.

Now that you know you are going to put your kumquats to good use in a cocktail, let's consider the sour mix. It only takes a momentary glance at the label of a store-bought sour mix to know that it just won't do. High fructose syrup is generally the leading ingredient, and many other questionable ingredients follow suit. But here's the thing: it is so easy to make your own. We have even simplified it further by substituting honey (local, of course!) and a dash of water for simple syrup. Give it a whir in the food processor with the kumquats and you are almost there.

We've been hearing about Denver-based Stranahan's Distillery for a long time. Leading the micro distillery movement in this region, Stranahan's has made a name for themselves with their smooth, small-batch whiskey. We were won over by the gorgeous amber color and sweet, oaky flavor. It pairs perfectly with the citrus tang and honey warmth in this cocktail. Not sure how you feel about whiskey? Try it, you might surprise yourself.

Kumquat Sour

makes 2 drinks
  • 6 kumquats (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tb water
  • 3 oz Stranahan's Whiskey
1. Sour mix: slice the 6 kumquats in half lengthwise, and remove any seeds. Juice the lemon and lime. Place the kumquats, lemon and lime juice, honey, and water together in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the sour mix through a sieve.

2. For each drink, combine 2 oz sour mix with 1.5 oz whiskey in a shaker, and shake to combine. Pour into a lowball filled with ice and garnish with a slice of kumquat.


  1. You should try dancing pines distillery whiskey from Loveland Co. Super Yum!

  2. Thanks for the tip Monica! We will check it out! Do you know if it is distributed outside of Loveland, or will we have to drive up there?

  3. Hi there! Just a quick note to let you know we are running a cocktail contest on our Facebook page. Feel free to enter with one of your delicious and original recipes! The best one gets a prize! Entries open until March 25th 2012.

  4. Kumquat looks like elongated small oranges to me. I'll try this with vodka or gin, or maybe this whiskey also from Colorado. My, I've not checked my wine cabinet lately!

  5. It's been a long time since I drink an alcohic drink like this, I miss those days that I spent out with my friends and go for bar hopping.

  6. Maybe I will try this kind of mix on weekend together with my friends. It's been a long time since I spent time with them.

  7. I agree with Sarah, It's nice to drink together with your friends while sharing the current events on your life.

  8. I can't get the links to take me anywhere...

    1. shutter-happy, thank you for commenting! I updated the post so that the recipe is now included here.


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