This stunning Kumquat and Thyme Cocktail is simple, unfussy, and elegant. Kumquats and thyme get muddled together with a dash of honey then shaken with vodka and ice until chilled. A splash of ginger beer adds effervescence, sweetness and slight spice to create a dimensional and crowd-pleasing citrus vodka cocktail.

Kumquats are a tiny sweet-tart fruit that I like to refer to as nature’s sweet and sour candy. This mini citrus fruit is eaten peel and all. To say they’re packed with flavor is an understatement.

champagne glasses set on a marble table and filled with a yellow drink, kumquats and thyme sprigs

How to make a kumquat cocktail

Kumquats are small but mighty, and in order to tap into their bold flavor you’ve got to muddle them. I recommend halving or slicing the kumquats before adding to a glass to muddle—it may seem like an extra step but it makes muddling much easier.

And don’t worry about their little seeds, you’ll stain them out before serving.

Here are the basic steps to making this citrus cocktail:

  1. Slice the kumquats and add to a cocktail shaker with thyme sprigs and honey.
  2. Muddle the kumquats and thyme until juices are released.
  3. Add vodka and fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Secure lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
  4. Add ginger beer, stir to chill, then strain cocktail into champagne flutes.
  5. Garnish with kumquats and thyme sprigs, if you desire.
Step by step photos showing how to make a kumquat cocktail. Kumquats and thyme in a glass, kumquats getting muddled, adding vodka, adding ginger beer
ginger beer being poured into a glass filled with muddled kumquat

Variations on this citrus cocktail:

  • For more citrus, use lemon thyme instead of thyme.
  • Make it floral by swapping out the ginger beer for a splash of club soda and some St. Germain.
  • Make this as a pitcher by using fresh lemon juice, thyme simple syrup, vodka, and club soda. Garnish with kumquat slices and fresh thyme to keep it festive.
champagne glasses set on a marble table and filled with a yellow drink, kumquats and thyme sprigs

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champagne glasses set on a marble table and filled with a yellow drink, kumquats and thyme sprigs

Kumquat & Thyme Cocktail

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 cocktails 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A simple and stunning cocktail made with sweet-tart kumquats, fresh thyme, ginger beer and vodka. Elegant, easy to make, and crowd-pleasing! 


  • 8 kumquats, sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • Ice
  • Kumquats and thyme sprigs for garnish


Muddle kumquats, thyme, and honey in a cocktail shaker until bruised and juices release, about 30 seconds.

Add vodka, fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled. Stir in ginger beer until chilled. Strain cocktail into a champagne flute and garnish with thyme sprigs and kumquats.

Keywords: citrus vodka cocktail, kumquat cocktail, thyme cocktail

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This recipe was originally posted on December 1, 2016.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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