Choclate drinkerYes, all things considered, it's a strange combination. Xocolātl, also know as chocolate or cacao was widely used by the Aztecs in food and drinks. Kim quật is the Vietnamese name for a citrus fruit that originated in China and found great favor on the islands of Nippon. Combine the two by using an old Polish method of drowning stuff in vodka and you get a delicious Nalewka who's origin spans 3 continents.

This is my 4th 'cello Nalewka. It's a fine end to the citrus season here in SoCal. Not that the citrus fruit ever go away. All year I can have fresh lemons, oranges and grapefruit by just walking around the block. Mature trees produce year round but the winter is when we get a glut. I grow my kumquat tree in a relatively small container so it never rivals any of my other citrus trees in abundance - just enough for 2 liters of joy.

So this is what you would need:

  • 2 liters of Bachewski or some other vodka
  • 2 Tbsp of roasted cocoa nibs
  • About 2 dozen very ripe kumquats
  • About a ¼ cup of sugar for every liter of vodka or just adjust this to the level of sweetness you like.

Cocoa nibs, just in case you don't know, is naked chocolate. Not that it's easy to undress chocolate. The ripe cocoa pods are cut from the tree, the beans and cocoa butter are removed, fermented, dried, cleaned, roasted and finally the nibs are removed from the shell. This is the essence of chocolaty, no sugar, no milk, no oils just the pure, bitter taste of xocolātl. I get them at my beer making supply store, Stein Fillers, but I've seen them at gourmet supermarkets.

As for kumquats, your on your own. Once in a blue moon I've seen them in Asian markets. Best thing is to plant a tree and you will be set for life. I guess in a pinch you could use another citrus fruit but than it would be a different drink. Cocoagrapfruitcello, hmmm, might have to give it a try.

You will need: vodka, cocoa nibs, kumquats and maybe some sugar. After 2 weeks in the sun it's not a bad drink that will only improve with time. Put the fruit and nibs in a stove safe pot and mix in the sugar.
You will need: vodka, cocoa nibs, kumquats and maybe some sugar. After 2 weeks in the sun it's not a bad drink that will only improve with time. Put the fruit and nibs in a stove safe pot and mix in the sugar.

When you get all the ingredients together cut the kumquats in half, put them and the nibs in a jar and pour in the vodka. Seal tight and put out in a sunny location for about 2 weeks. Give the jar a swirl once a day.

After the 2 weeks or so strain out the fruit and nibs. Right here it's not a bad drink that will only improve with time. The clean and gentle citrusy bite with a deep yet supple chocolate finish that lasts long after you're done with the glass. In this batch it's not what I'm after so we will try to intensify the flavors by adding some sweetness.

Put the fruit and nibs in a stove safe pot and mix in the sugar. Cover, flies love this mix, and leave it in a warm place for about 24 hours. The sugar will melt and suck out the juicy flavors. Put the pot on the stove and slowly warm stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. You want to bring the mix to a boil and keep it gently bubbling for a few minutes. Give the fruit a little squeeze with the back of your spoon to squeeze more juice and oils out.

You want to bring the mix to a boil and keep it gently bubbling. Squeeze out some extra syrup with your spoon. This Nalweka benefits from a few months in your Nalewka cellar.
You want to bring the mix to a boil and keep it gently bubbling. Squeeze out some extra syrup with your spoon. This Nalweka benefits from a few months in your Nalewka cellar.

 

maya-dude
"No dude, I don't want plain Xocolātl. Bring me some of that cocoakumqatacello."

Have your jar with the Nalewka ready. Turn of the heat and pour the hot syrup through a sieve into the vodka. Squeeze out some extra syrup with your spoon, seal the jar, give it a good swirl and put in a sunny place for a few days.

Although this Nalewka will be ready to drink and quite pleasant right from the start it really benefits the most of all my 'cellos from a few months in your Nalewka cellar. I like to serve it with a few nibs on the bottom of the glass for all my chocoholic friends - so cheers and good health.

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