As is not unusual we have a glut of things, and being me I don’t like to throw anything away so when I was given a bag of kumquats or cumquats (don’t know the correct spelling) I went looking for a brandied version. I recalled being horrified by the taste of them in my earlier, less alcoholic, years and thought that it was about time to see if I could improve on my memories.
This needs a bit of time so armed with a large wooden skewer I sat and watched TV for about an hour while poking holes all over these tiny citrus fruit. About 10 holes per cumquat on about 60 pieces of fruit = 600 holes!
- 60 kumquats, pricked all over with a skewer
- 5 cups sugar
- 1.4 litres brandy(2 bottles) – keep the bottles to rebottle the liqueur into for aging
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 12 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 1 litre jars with tight fitting lids (air tight, don’t want the alcohol to evaporate),<\li>
Put half the pricked kumquats and sugar into each jar then add as much of the brandy (the rest of the brandy can be added after the kumquats are removed and aged with the mother load or just drink it) as will fit into each jar. Tightly seal or cover each jar with cling wrap under the seal to stop any alcohol from evaporating. Store jar away from direct sunlight but somewhere where you won’t forget about it. Mine is near the coffee machine so it gets noticed often.
For the next 14 days or more, turn the jar over and back as often during the day as you can to distribute and dissolve the sugar.
Leave the mix for about 30 to 60 days, still turning regularly to keep the kumquats fairly drunk, by which time the sugar should have completely dissolved and most of the citrussy flavour will have dissipated into the alcohol. I like to wait until the cumquats have sunk to the bottom of the bottle which takes at least 60 days.
Strain off the alcoholic citrussy mixture leaving the kumquats to drain in a sieve. Return the liqueur to age in the saved brandy bottles.(label and write the bottling date on each bottle)
Dip the drained kumquats in melted chocolate and store in the freezer for a special occasion.
Leave the liqueur for at least six months, it improves with age. Then drink very cold with ice.
It is a good idea to taste test regularly so it doesn’t pass its best by drinking date.