Kumquat and Passion Fruit Cocktail

Yotam Ottolenghi

"Ottolenghi Simple"

Ramael Scully

"NOPI: The Cookbook"

We use Tapatio Reposado tequila in our NOPI cocktails. Reposado means “rested” in Spanish. Having aged for about 4 months in ex-bourbon oak barrels, the resulting drink is indeed a very chill one. With its agave-sweet and slightly woody tones, it’s a more subtle tequila than the drink—with its salt-and-lemon-shot reputation—is often given credit for. There are lots of tequilas to choose from but it’s worth seeking out a reposado, if you can: Patrón, Herradura, and Don Julio all have good varieties.

This is all about the tartness of the kumquat, whose sharp flesh and sweet skin make for an incredibly refreshing drink. This is a cocktail with both the gentle punch of tequila and the delicacy of rose water. It’s essentially a margarita, NOPI-style. We serve it in a rocks glass but you can serve it in a martini-style glass, if you like. You’ll make more syrup than you need for this recipe but it can be frozen for future cocktails or stored in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks, to have at the ready to pour over muesli, ice cream, or yogurt. With thanks to Niall Downey, whose creation this is.

Reprinted with permission from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Kumquat Syrup:

  • 8 kumquats
  • 1 1/4 cup superfine sugar

For the cocktail:

  • 6 kumquats
  • 2 passion fruit, halved
  • 3/4 ounce kumquat syrup 
  • 2 1/2 ounce Tapatio Reposado tequila (or another reposado tequila)
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • A spray of rose water, to serve


To make the kumquat syrup, cut the 8 kumquats in half and place them in a medium saucepan with the sugar. Add 1 cup water and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring from time to time, crushing the kumquats as they soften. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before straining into a mason jar (or another jar you can seal) through a fine-mesh or muslin-lined sieve.

Cut the 6 kumquats in half widthwise, and divide them between 2 rocks glasses. Set aside one of the passion fruit halves, then spoon out the seeds from the other 3 halves and add to the glasses. Muddle everything together, then fill the glasses with crushed ice. Divide the kumquat syrup between the glasses, followed by the tequila, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Give everything a good stir and top up with more crushed ice. Cut the remaining passion fruit half into thin slices and place one slice on top of each glass. Spray with the rose water and serve at once.


2 cocktails