kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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Featured Cocktail: Kumquat Collins

kumquat_botero This delicious twist on the classic Gin Collins comes to us from Patricia Richards, master mixologist for the Wynn / Encore Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. "The citrus notes of the Tanqueray #10 gin tie this cocktail together beautifully," she says. "I was inspired to combine the flavors of kumquats and kaffir lime leaves."

Kumquat Collins Recipe courtesy of Patricia Richards, master mixologist, Wynn / Encore Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

2 1/4 oz. Tanqueray #10 Gin 1/4 oz. Cointreau Kumquat- and kaffir-infused syrup (see recipe) 1 oz. fresh lime juice 2 1/2 oz. club soda Sliced kumquats and mint, for garnish.

Combine gin, Cointreau, syrup and lime juice in a bar mixing glass. Add ice, and shake to chill. Add soda to tin, stir briefly, and then strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with 5 slices of kumquat (cut horizontally and seeds removed), and top with a mint sprig. The kumquat slices should be evenly dispersed throughout the cocktail.

For the kumquat-kaffir lime simple syrup (makes 1 quart): 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves 33 fresh kumquats, with stalky stem side trimmed off, and then sliced in half lenghwise (if kumquats are super small, add a few more) 21 oz. superfine granulated sugar 17 oz. bottled water 1 small Tahitian vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise 1 tsp packed finely grated lime zest 1 tsp packed finely grated orange zest

Place all the ingredients into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the temperature.  Simmer for 20 minutes, until the kumquats become transparent in the center. Remove from heat, allowing the flavors to infuse for another 20 minutes while cooling. Strain syrup to remove solids. Once cooled, drain the syrup into a container with a tightly fitting lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.