Kumquat-Ginger Syrup

This kumquat ginger syrup, made from tiny, tasty, nutritious citrus and fresh ginger, is a delicious and versatile cocktail mixer.

Kumquat Ginger Syrup

The majority of things that I buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market, I know exactly what I want to do with. Broccoli rabe looks good? Let’s make a pizza or maybe pasta with white beans. Carrots are on sale? Let’s roast them with honey and thyme or make carrot cupcakes. Totally reasonable.

Then there are the impulse buys. I saw these kumquats and I just had to have them. I mean, look at them!


They’re like teeny, tiny oranges meant for a doll! I ask you, reader: how could I resist them? Well, I couldn’t, which is why you’re looking at pictures of them right now. The thing is, I had absolutely no idea what to do with them once I got them home.

Kumquat Nerd Facts:
  • They are the only type of citrus that can be eaten whole, skin and all. In fact, the skin is sweeter than the flesh.
  • They are extremely good for you, containing large amounts of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants.
  • They are very rich in vitamin C.

After a little bit of research, I decided that the best way to utilize my little batch would be to make kumquat ginger syrup out of them. This essentially candies the fruit (allowing it to keep for much longer) and gives you a delicious, sweet-tart citrus syrup as well. I love citrus with ginger so I decided to include a few slices into the mix.

The combination is wonderful. A little sweet, a little tart, a little spicy. And what does one do with candied fruit in a delicious syrup? You could pour it over ice cream or pound cake. You could use it as a marmalade on buttered toast. Or you could do what we did: make cocktails! Lots and lots of cocktails.

We made three different styles of cocktail from our kumquat ginger syrup, in fact. One with gin and Lillet Rosé; one with bourbon and more citrus; and one with spicy, dark rum.

Kumquat Ginger Rosé Cocktail
Kumquat-Ginger Rose Cocktail
Kumquat-Ginger Whisky Sour
Kumquat-Ginger Whisky Sour
Kumquat-Ginger Smash
Kumquat-Ginger Smash
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4.67 from 3 votes

Kumquat Ginger Syrup

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Author: Emily Clifton - Nerds with Knives


  • 7 oz kumquats about 25 or so, cut crosswise into thin slices
  • 4 oz ginger (about 4 thumb-sized pieces), sliced into 1/4 inch medallions
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • Place everything into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until the kumquats soften and begin to look slightly translucent, 15-20 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool, then transfer to a clean jar. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
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