TT Test Kitchen Tip: Kumquats are candied then puréed before being mixed with gin, Aperol and sparkling wine for this bright winter cocktail. Serve it as is or finish each cocktail with an edible gold leaf right before serving for a particularly distinctive toast.
The Golden Hour
Yield: 1 cocktail
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1½ cups kumquats, halved and seeds discarded
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ ounce kumquat purée
1 ounce gin
¼ ounce Aperol
1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the sugar and water. Heat until the sugar is dissolved, then add the kumquats and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the kumquats are tender and liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Use a spoon to remove any film that rises to the surface, then transfer the liquid and kumquats to a blender. Blend until smooth, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pour into a container and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker, combine ½ ounce of the cooled kumquat puree with the gin and Aperol and dry shake. Add the ice and shake again. Double-strain the cocktail, pouring the cocktail through the cocktail strainer over a fine-mesh strainer into a Champagne glass. Top with sparkling wine and serve immediately.
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