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Kumquat and passion fruit cocktail

serves 2
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This tipple is all about the tartness of the kumquat citrus, whose sharp flesh and sweet skin make for an incredibly refreshing drink. This is a cocktail with both the gentle punch of tequila and the delicacy of rose water. It’s essentially a margarita, NOPI-style. We serve it in a rocks glass but you can serve it in a martini-style glass, if you like. You’ll make more syrup than you need for this recipe but it can be frozen for future cocktails or stored in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks, to have at the ready to pour over muesli, ice cream or yoghurt. With thanks to Niall Downey, whose creation this is.


6 kumquats
2 passion fruits, halved
25ml kumquat syrup (see below)
75ml tapatio reposado tequila (or another reposado brand)
25ml cointreau
25ml lemon juice
a spray of rose water, to serve
kumquat syrup
8 kumquats
250g caster sugar


  1. First make the kumquat syrup. Cut the 8 kumquats in half and place in a medium saucepan with the sugar. Pour over 250ml of water and place on a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring from time to time, crushing the kumquats as they soften. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before straining into a Kilner jar (or another jar you can seal) through a fine-mesh or muslin-lined sieve.
  2. Cut the 6 kumquats in two, widthways, and divide them between the rocks glasses. Set aside one of the passion fruit halves, then spoon out the seeds from the other three halves and add to the glasses. Muddle everything together, then fill the glasses with crushed ice. Divide the kumquat syrup between the glasses, followed by the tequila, Cointreau and lemon juice. Give everything a good stir and top up with more crushed ice. Cut the remaining passion fruit half into thin slices and place one slice on top of each glass. Spray with the rose water and serve at once.