Drinkwire: Venosa Gin & Tonic

A refreshing Italian twist on the classic gin and tonic using Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto and a homemade kumquat syrup.

I used to think ‘kumquat’ was just a funny word until I took a chance on a miniature citrus tree one summer.

Soon we were up to our elbows in the tiny orange fruits and wondering what to do with our bounty. The obvious answer was cocktails. But how to get the taste of these sour little chaps into a drink? Why a syrup of course.

Unlike most other orange citrus fruits which have sweet flesh and bitter skin, the qualities of the kumquat are reversed. The skin is sweet and the flesh is sour. As a result, it is important to use the whole fruit in the syrup (unless you’re looking for a particularly bitter flavour).

To make the syrup:

  1. Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup halved kumquats in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for ten minutes.
  4. Strain into a sterile bottle and keep (refrigerated) for up to a month.

For a perfectly simple serve to show off your new syrup, look no further than this refreshing Italian twist on the classic gin and tonic. Imagine you are relaxing at your Italian villa. The sun is setting, but you have the perfect spot to take advantage of its last rays. A cooling breeze brings the smell of citrus to you from the nearby fields, and in the distance you can hear the clink and fizz of fresh ice cubes being added to a long, refreshing drink…

  1. Combine 25ml gin, 25ml Italicus Rosolio de Bergamotto, 50ml kumquat syrup and 25ml fresh lemon juice in a chilled highball glass over ice.
  2. Top with tonic water and stir once to combine.
  3. Garnish with a whole kumquat.

This post was first published on Drinkwire before it closed.