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Jan 3, 2006 02:35 PM

Limoncello---but with kumquats?

  • c

Now that the weather is clearing here in L.A., it should be about a week before I am overwhelmed with ripe kumquats. I was thinking about using some to make a version of limoncello. Anyone done that before? I realize that although kumquats taste like citrus, they aren't.

Happy New Year and thanks for any thoughts on this. Or any other ideas for kumquats besides the usual preserves (but something that'll store a while).

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  1. I've infused Buddha's hand citron in vodka before and it worked just fine. This fruit really has no flesh so I just bruised the peel and pith and steeped it in the liquor for a while.

    The kumquat skins are pretty fragrant with the essential oil that I think it would work nicely. would make some bitching martinis.


    1 Reply
    1. re: wasabi

      Hangar One makes Buddha's Hand infused vodka and it's quite good.

      Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Bring a designated driver.


    2. Kumquats are citrus fruits.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MZG

        Kumquats were reclassified out of genus "citrus" in 1915, according to Florida Kumquat Growers' website.

        More, linked, from Wikipedia.


        1. re: Christine

          Not according to the Calif. growers.

      2. When I was lucky enough to have one in my front yard, I would freeze them to just pop into stews, braises, etc. They already have such mellow taste that they almost give you the pickled lemon flavor for no work. They are also wonderful ground up in the processor with garlic, onion, herbs, olive oil and used to marinate meat or poultry. The same smoosh rubbed on an ordinary grocery store ham scored and amped with some brown sugar is nice. I am jealous- I see none in any surrounding neighborhoods, or I would be knocking on doors working our a trade!

        1. Yes I made some two years ago. I cut the fruits in half and filled a 1/2 gallon jar with them and then filled to the top with vodka. I then let it sit in a cool dark place for 2 months, shaking up every week or so, and filtered it squeezing the fruits a bit. I then added about 1/3 simple syrup, maybe a bit less. Let it sit for another few weeks and slowly filtered it again. It was pretty good. Better than my lemon-cello or lime-oncello.

          1. You can infuse vodka but its even better if you obtain some everclear [aka grain alcohol] and infuse that. I would just dump a bunch of kumquats in a bottle of everclear and wait for the booze to turn orangey. Pour through a strainer and squish the kumquats to get out any liquid. Strain if you like. Then you will need to thin the mix with some sugar syrup until you are no longer left gasping when you take a sip . . . and trust me, you will know when that is! Don't worry if the alcohal gets a bit cloudy--thats normal.

            Using everclear for limoncello made for limoncello that tasted the most like good italian stuff that I had tried. It also works very nicely with grapefruit [which then tastes delightful in the summer mixed into a glass of soda water---just like fresca only grown-up!

            Now is definitely a good time for doing infused liquors. Everclear is not for sale in California but you can find it lots of other places in a normal liqour store like NEVADA [get a friend going gambling to bring you back a bottle or two] or Maryland or Washington state.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jenn

              Yeah, the everclear deal is frustrating, isn't it? I didn't realize it can be purchased in Washington state, so I may just have my little brother send a few bottles. I just put up the first round of lemon peels with vodka, but I can do the second infusion with everclear.

              Thanks for the tip! If I can get some in time for the kumquats, I'll try two batches: one with vodka and one with everclear.