A kumquat tree full of fruits is one of the most iconic Vietnamese New Year home decorations. The fruits are bright and abundant, symbolizing the fertility and longevity that the family hopes for. The overall kumquat tree symbolized many generations: ripe fruits as grandparents, flowers as parents, buds as children, and light green leaves as grandchildren.
Travelers visiting Hanoi during our Tet holiday often see kumquat being transferred on motorbikes, as people buy kumquat tree home to decorate their home for new year. Hence, we sometimes have opportunity to taste Vietnamese traditional kumquat juice on our food tour. If you would like to make a drink with kumquat, try our following recipe.
- 20 kumquats
- 5 tbsp of sugar
- 6 cups of water
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- Slice 20 kumquats in 4 – 5 slices. Remove the seeds.
- Heat small saucepan on high heat. Add about 75% of the sliced kumquats, 5 tbsp of sugar, and 1 cup of water. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Stir to ensure the sugar dissolves evenly. Strain the mixture into a pitcher.
- Add 1/3 cup of lemon juice to the pitcher.
- Add the rosemary sprigs to a small cup. Add ½ cup of water and swirl gently. Add the rosemary and water to the pitcher. Add 4 cups of water to the pitcher and taste. If too tart, add more water. Add the remaining kumquat slices to the pitcher.
- To serve, pour over ice in a tall glass.
You may also add some Vietnamese tea into the glass to have kumquat tea, or add honey instead of sugar.