“Assume Nothing!” A mantra for The Crown as we worked towards opening our doors in March of 2019, the phrase became a Menu section, encouraging our visitors to drop their preconceptions and be open to new and delicious experiences. And now it’s the title of a recipe series, for you to recreate at home. Here’s to a year of assuming nothing!

Fennel & Blood Orange Soda

A refreshing fruit soda with a seasonal, citrusy flair.


  • 10 Organic Kumquats
  • 500g Sugar
  • 500g Water
  • Mint for Garnish


Wash those kumquats!  The peel is edible and sweet, and we will be using it, so make sure you get the whole fruit clean.  Once they’re all sparkly fresh from the wash, chop them nice and thin, exposing as much of the fruit as possible without the slices falling completely apart.

An easy way to preserve fruit flavor and gorgeous color and make something that is immediately ready to pop in a drink, is to make the kumquats into a simple syrup.  We like a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water, so scale up or down as you like – a good starting point might be 500g of each.  Put the sugar and water in a pot, and bring to a boil, stirring to get all the sugar dissolved.

Add the kumquat slices to the boiling simple syrup and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the fruit to infuse into the syrup.  Remove from heat, cool, and strain out the kumquat slices.  These sugary, cooked kumquat slices can be saved and consumed candied, and are delicious on their own or as an excellent addition to salads and desserts.  Take the syrup and put in a container to chill.

Add the syrup to sparkling water, garnish with a fresh mint sprig, and you’ve got yourself a delicious Kumquat Soda!


What the heck is a kumquat?  The olive-sized, orange-colored citrus fruit has been a staple in Southeast Asia for centuries, and the English name “Kumquat” comes from a Cantonese word, which means something like “golden tangerine.”  The small, evergreen plant thrives in warm climates, and the Nagami variety is commonly cultivated in the United States in Florida and California.  The small, oblong fruit has an edible peel (the peel is actually sweeter than the flesh) and packs a tangy citric punch.

We saw these at the Farmer’s market and immediately wanted to showcase this fun, sour little citrus.  It serves a delightful pucker, but we wanted to make something chuggable and refreshing, so we sweetened them up a little as a syrup and made a sparkling kumquat soda!