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Kumquat is one of the most popular liquers available almost in every shop in Corfu. Unfortunately I was never fond of this orange-colored drink. So, I decided to use the raw fruits to create a simple and sophisticated cocktail which would remind me my birthplace: The beautiful island of Corfu.

Phaiax: kumquat

I was born in the island of Corfu. Corfu’s Greek name is Kerkyra and is related to Poseidon, God of the Sea, and the river of Asopos. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra (which gradually evolved to Kerkyra), daughter of Asopus. Together, they had a child. They named the child Phaiax and from this point the inhabitants of the island were named: Phaiakes. Although kumquats are cultivated in China, South & North Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Japan and the Middle East, each time I visit Corfu, I get the feeling that the little orange citrus fruit is Corfu’s registered trademark! (Which is not, true, of course). Kumquat trees are some of the easiest fruit trees to grow in garden pots. The trees are beautiful, their leaves are dark green and their fruits are bright orange. When the fruits are ripe, their skin has a sweet taste but the inside is sour. Apparently, the best way to savor the contrast, is to eat the whole raw fruit at once. This trick made me think that the best way to use raw kumquats in cocktails, is squishing the fruit gently with a muddler. So, this is the cocktail  that I ‘ve recently made up:


  • 60 ml Hayman’s Gently Rested Dry Gin
  • 25 ml sage syrup (1:1)
  • 5 kumquats (sliced)

Muddle the kumquats in the base of a mixing glass. Add the rest ingredients, add lots of ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve immediately.

Phaiax: kumquat

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