Fortunella, a Kumquat distillate

Pugnatus sum avec kumquat” – Eddie Izzard

If you don’t understand the subtitle or you don’t know who Mr. Izzard is, you’re missing out on a whole lot of fun! If you don’t know what Fortunella is, have no fear I will explain it to you. If you’re in a hurry, just remember these three things: 1) it’s Belgian (from Ghent), 2) it has kumquat in it and 3) it’s delicious!

A kumquat is a type of citrus fruit which is oblong and has similarities with an orange. It’s probably one of the only fruits of which you can eat the peel, it tastes kind of sweet actually. The fruit itself is quite bitter. And in case you were wondering where the name of the distillate came from, its genus in Latin is called Fortunella. (Kumquat derives from cantonese kamkwat and means golden orange).

Now, why make a distillate from it? It was this question that Frederik (Jigger’s, Ghent), Thomas and Kamill answered with: ‘why not?’. Also, there are several kumquat liqueurs in the world, but only one distillate. The fruits are macerated for no less than 3 months in unaged brandy, after which the result is distilled and some cardamom is added.

The taste is extremely round and the kumquat immediately hits your palate. The finish is long, citrussy, with a little spice and ends on a drier note. It is very pleasant to drink neat, as well as over ice and it works amazingly in cocktails. This bottle should be on the shelf of every selfrespecting cocktailbar! Below is a serving suggestion of our own.

Ad Fortunellam

  • 5cl Fortunellla
  • 2cl homemade Falernum
  • 1cl lime juice

Shake everything up and serve over ice.

More information about Fortunella, here.


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