Happy Donabe Life

Japanese Kumquat Liqueur


Bright and sweet-tangy ripe kumquat makes the beautiful liqueur in very easy steps. All you need is the patience, as once the ingredients are assembled, it takes several months for it to be ready to drink.

Vegan option

This is a vegan dish/ drink.

4-qt (4-liter) glass jar, sterilized


About 2 qt (2 liters)


  • 2.2 – 2.5 lbs (1 – 1.5 kg) kumquats
  • 1 lb or a little more (450 – 500 g) rock sugar
  • 1.8 qt (1.8 liters) white liqueur/ neutral shochu (25 – 30% al)


  1. Rinse the kumquats. Pick any stem’s end attached to the skin and discard. Pat dry the kumquats very well.
  2. Put 1/3 of the kumquats into the jar, followed by 1/3 of the rock sugar. Repeat twice more.
  3. Pour the white liqueur into the jar.
  4. Cover tightly and let it rest in a cool area (avoid direct sunlight) for 6 months.
  5. Remove the kumquats and enjoy the drink.

Suggestions to enjoy kumquat liqueur:

  • On the rocks
  • Mix with sparkling water
  • Mix with fruit juice

Get the ingredients ready.
Make the layers of the kumquats and rock sugar.
The mixture is ready and to be rested for 6 months.


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