Somewhere, somewhere in the nodegel is a writeup about not noding while drunk. Stuff ‘em. I have been preparing the 2003 batch of kumquat brandy, and I’m pissed as a newt. Yes, gentle reader – over a few glasses of red wine with Aunty Peri, I have been initiated into the ranks of kumquat brandy makers, and have laid down the stocks to be breached in 2008.

She brought over a bottle of 1995 vintage. It’s ambrosia. It’s the nectar of the Gods. And provided you’re prepared to wait 5 or so years…it’s dead easy:

Imagine a liqueur with subtle citrus flavours…the harsh acid of kumquat smoothed out by the sweetened brandy. The bitter flavours of the brandy have been taken away over the years by the sugar and the kumquat. You’re left with an after dinner drink that generally leaves people swooning with delight and swearing to sell their souls for just one more drink.

Here’s how you do it:

Get the following:

Thassit. Easy – huh!

Method:

  • Sterilize your jars
  • Rinse your kumquats. Shake ‘em kinda dry.
  • Slice each kumquat twice - two parallel cuts - but don’t sever them completely.
  • Stuff your jars as full of them as you can.
  • In a microwave-safe jug, mix sugar and brandy. Basically, a couple of cups of sugar, well covered by brandy. Go with twice as much brandy as sugar. Aunty Peri doesn’t work from a recipe.
  • Microwave the brandy and sugar for a minute. Give it a good stir.
  • Pour your brandy mixture into your jars. Fill ‘em as high as you can go.
  • Shut the jars. Shake them well to get rid of any air pockets. If you can fit any more brandy in – go ahead.

Now, the hard bit.

Leave them for five years.

No, seriously. Pop them in a dark cupboard. Label them first, by all means, but leave it for at least five years.

Have you waited five years?

Good.

Strain the brandy out. You can either discard the kumquats, make marmalade to die for out of them, pop them on an antipasto platter, or use them in any other way your heart desires. Bottle the brandy. Hide it away in your secret alcohol stash, and only offer it to your nearest and dearest.


Ok, ok....so maybe you can just leave it a year. Or two. I'm experimenting...I'll update in a year's time!

2004 update: Nope, a year isn't enough. It's drinkable, tasty, but not ambrosial. I'll check again next year.

2005 update: Hm...two years is good, right enough, but...no. It's staying in that jar at least another year. To be frank, you could drink it now and be very pleased, but I'm waiting for taste bud nirvana.

2006 update: Where does the time go? Keep leaving it, people...it's good, but needs more time...

Well, will you look at that! I didn't do a 2007 update! It's 2008 already. Not quite October (June...) but close enough. And guess what?! It's ready! The 2003 kumquat brandy is now eminently drinkable. And dammit, we only made one jar. Ah well, 2004 was a bumper year for kumquats...we'll keep going. So yes, people: five years.

Additional: when you fish the kumquats out, dry them off a bit and dip them in dark, dark chocolate. Wheeeeeooo, it's good.

This node is now complete.

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