Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kumquat & Lavender Gin Rickey ('The Mouth Party')

Last weekend, I won (barely) the 2010 Lake Hume Conquistador's Original Drink Contest. That sounds a lot more official than it really is. Basically what it means is that I now have a crystal moose on my fridge.
He needs to be mounted and engraved but for now, he's just a freestyle moose, hagnin' out with the booze.

I kid you not, there were some really, really good drinks made on this camping trip. One couple, boiled pine cones in lemonade chilled it and served it like a Gin and Juice. One drink had pine liqueur, another made fresh grapefruit juice, another made one called 'Gone Swedish Fishing" with lingonberry syrup and a Swedish fish floating at the bottom of the glass. All were super tasty. The one that I voted for and tied with was a muddled drink that had mint, lime, cucumber, gin and ginger beer. We won in a tie breaker but we probably should have just tied. That drink was awesome. I'm going to try to get the recipe to share with you because I really want to make it again. Until then, here's what I made...

"The Mouth Party"

2 (750ml) bottles of Tanqueray Gin
1 lb of kumquats (approximately enough to fill a strawberry basket)
One big jar

-Lavender Simple Syrup
1 T culinary lavender
2 c refined white sugar
1 c water

Limes, oranges, grapefruit, lemons (a combo of any, or all mixed together)
sparkling water

For The Gin
2 of these.
Take the kumquats and wash and quarter them all. Then peel back the meat and discard into your compost. The skin on a kumquat is much much sweeter than the meat inside. You can leave it on but it will make your Gin very bitter.
It should look like this.
Add the gin to the kumquats and let the citrus flavor sink into the gin.
I eventually filled this jar to the top with gin. Also, make sure your jar is airtight. Find it a home on the counter or in a cabinet (not in the fridge) and leave it alone for 2 + months.

For The Lavender Simple Syrup
(make a few days before you drink the cocktail)
Add sugar and water in a sauce pan
Culinary lavender can be purchased at a specialty store, online or at a local farmer's market. Don't cook with the sachet kind please.
Add lavender to sauce pan.
Simmer on medium heat until sugar is melted, and mixture is the consistency of maple syrup.
Let the syrup cool and strain off lavender buds.
I put it in the fridge in a $2 squeeze bottle from the restaurant supply store. Otherwise it gets messy.

Mixing The Cocktail

1 part citrus juice (any are good, I use lemons and limes the most)
1 part lavender simple syrup
2 parts Kumquat Gin
4 parts sparkling water

Gently shake it up (beware of the soda explosion), put a little syrup on a plate and rim the glass with it then garnish with a wedge of citrus or a sprig of fresh lavender (I didn't have any). It's like a really complex grownup lemonade. So, so good.

I only had one, I swear.


  1. I cannot even tell you how impressed I am with your handcrafted beverage! I would say that I can't wait to try it, but I do not know when I will have the time ... and I am completely humbled by your magnificence.

    Catherine G.

  2. It's not really that crazy. I know you think I'm lying here, but even if you make the Kumquat gin one night by just putting the peels into a half used up gin bottle and keep it on the shelf for a few months and forget about it. That produces the same result. You can just add that to some good Trader Joe's lemon soda and it will be awesome too. That's what I did when I ran out of the simple syrup. But I'd have to say, the lavender syrup is one of the best flavoring/sweeteners I have ever tasted. It only takes like a half an hour/20 min to make. I made it while I was doing laundry.