Total time: 20 minutes, plus macerating time
Note: From Peter Birmingham at Norman's, where the drink is made with Ron Matusalem Platino rum. Birmingham also recommends Bacardi Silver or Cruzan Estate Light rum. You'll have enough simple syrup and candied kumquats for up to 12 drinks.
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
12 kumquats, whole
1 stalk lemongrass, ends trimmed and two outer layers removed, slightly smashed with the side of a chef's knife
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
1. Add the boiling water to the sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar, cool.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the kumquats for 1 minute, drain.
3. Place the sugar water, lemongrass and orange blossom water in a bowl. Add the kumquats, placing a small plate on top to submerge the kumquats. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up until 3 weeks.
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
Add the boiling water to the sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar. Cool.
6 mint leaves