Mr. RC's Bar Cart- Kumquat Basil Margaritas

Mr. RC's Bar Cart- Kumquat Basil Margaritas

If you've got the Monday blues,

then I've got just the cure for you. Cliff notes version- tequila is involved. What else do you really need to know, besides that?! I'm (only partly) kidding. There's a lot of goodness in these kumquat basil margaritas and I wouldn't be doing them justice if I didn't give you the full rundown.

Here's the deal, I've always been a big fan of all sorts of citrus. But moving to LA has taken it to a whole other level. The citrus stand selling 15+ varieties of oranges is probably my favorite stand at our farmer's market. We regularly buy a 10 pound bag of one of the varieties of said oranges (10 pounds??! Like who am I?!). We almost always have at least 4 kinds of citrus in our house at all times. And nothing delights me more than when neighbors leave boxes of extra lemons out for others to take. So yeah, you could say we like citrus a bit.

One other thing that I really enjoy about the bounty of citrus fruits in California is getting to experiment more with favorite fruits that were only "special occasion options" in my east coast life. Kumquats are just one such example. I have always adored these little orange gems, but often found it hard to cough up the cash needed to purchase them on the regular. If only I had known all along that some guy at some farmer's market in California would be selling them for less than a cup of coffee (ahem, 2 baskets for $5). Suffice it to say, we now have kumquats on weekly rotation and I've been experimenting with them in everything from desserts to salads to cocktails. Well, Mr. RC has been experimenting on the cocktail front, but whatevs. You know what I mean. 

These kumquat basil margaritas (with a chili rim!) are the results of said experimenting, and luckily I got the Mr. to share the recipe just in time for Cinco de Mayo. I think by now it's obvious how much I adore the kumquats in these cocktails, but I totally get just how hard they can be to find. Feel free to substitute another citrus (oranges, tangerines, blood orange) in their place. Honestly, you really can't go wrong! Cheers!   

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Do you have a favorite kind of citrus, or do you prefer other types of fruit?

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makes 1


  • 2 oz White Tequila
  • 1 oz Triple-Sec
  • 10 Kumquats (6 kumquats halved + muddled, 4 kumquats juiced)
  • 3-4 leaves of fresh basil, shredded + muddled
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Chili powder (optional for the rim of the glass)


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add the halved kumquats and shredded basil and muddle together until the mixture is thick and pulpy. Next, add the kumquat juice, lime juice, tequila and triple-sec and shake vigorously. 
  2. In a rocks glass, moisten the rim of the glass with a lime wedge. Dip the rim of the glass in chili powder and then fill with ice. Strain and pour the shaken margarita over the ice in the glass. Garnish with a sprig of basil and some sliced kumquats, then serve.