Kumquat Margaritas, Cinco de Mayo, and The Battle of Puebla

It seems that Americans tend to be either ignorant of the reason for certain holidays or decide to turn them into a reason to drink, and Cinco de Mayo is no exception. And that’s not a complaint, just a laughable observation. In reality, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla. Although outnumbered 2:1, the Mexican army prevailed in that battle, and no European nation has occupied the Americas since. Enough of the history lesson though, let’s make a margarita.

I wanted to add a little bit of flair to this margarita and decided to take advantage of kumquat season. Kumquats are foreign to many, but the combination of sweet skin and tart interior makes them great for a margarita. I researched several recipes to see how other people were including kumquats in their margarita, and several recipes called for blending them into a puree, but I chose to go with the simpler method and muddle them. You’ll also notice that I didn’t salt the rim of the glass, but opted to add a pinch of salt to the drink itself. This isn’t just because I don’t care for salted rims, but because the pinch of salt will really make the drink pop.

I think this is a great margarita recipe that you’ll enjoy, particularly if you like kumquats. The acidity is pretty high, so I wouldn’t suggest you drink more than one unless you want your mouth to feel like you ate too many sour Warhead candies. Feel free to use more agave syrup or less lime juice to suit your palate. I know that the next round I make I’m going to try to puree the kumquats. In the meantime, I’m working backwards on a drink that I’ll call The Battle of Puebla, because how can you pass up a great cocktail name like that?


Kumquat Margarita
Recipe Type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 1½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 5 kumquats
  • 2 barspoons agave syrup (¼ ounces)
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Slice kumquats in half and add to a shaking tin. Muddle until juice and oils are well-expressed.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
  3. Double strain into a chilled margarita glass.
  4. Garnish with a cumquat and lime wheel. Enjoy.

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