We here at team Monceau are so excited about the launch of the newest addition to the Pét Nat Kombucha family; Mandarin Monceau! Leading up to the release of mandarin, we wanted to learn more about the fruits themselves. So we reached out to some experts on the matter, and who better to ask than mandarin ducks? We found 6 mandarin ducks who gave us the lowdown on what they love about mandarins and some of their favourite recipes that showcase the delectable fruit. Without further ado, let’s get mandarining.
#1 Mandarin Gin Fizz Cocktail by Joe the mandarin duck
Joe the mandarin duck
First up, we spoke to a mandarin duck who goes by the name Joe. We asked him to give us his favourite mandarin cocktail recipe and here’s what he said*:
“Hmm - I think I’d have to go with this incredible Mandarin Gin Fizz cocktail I found on the internet. I’ve tried a few citrusy fruit juices in combination with some gin. I think gin pairs really wonderfully with citrus fruits, however I find some of them too sour for my personal taste. I love mandarin juice because it’s slightly sweeter. When I get home, I’ll try some of the Mandarin Monceau mixed with gin. I’m sure it’ll be a winner.”
Thanks, Joe! We think you’re onto something there with the gin/Mandarin Monceau pairing.
Here’s the recipe for Joe’s favourite Mandarin Gin Fizz:
- 60ml gin
- 30ml freshly squeezed mandarin juice
- 120ml soda water
- 2 tsp powdered sugar
Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Delish!
#2 Mandarin salad by mandarin duck Shirley
Next, we chatted to Shirley the mandarin duck. We asked Shirley to give us her favourite recipe that champions the incredible mandarin. Here’s what Shirley said:
“Well, I’m a vegetarian, so I’m always looking for interesting versions of a boring vegetarian option. Everyone always makes fun of me when I tell them I’m vegetarian. They always scoff and say, ‘what do you eat then? Salad?’ I say ‘yes’ and show them my delicious rocket, fennel, apple, mandarin and pomegranate salad and they shut up pretty quickly after tasting it. I love the mandarin in this recipe - it has a lovely sour sweetness that balances out the peppery taste of the rocket.”
Sounds incredible, Shirley! We can’t wait to try that one out ourselves.
How to make Shirley’s salad:
- In a bowl, mix together ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 minced shallot and ½ a teaspoon of grated lemon zest
- Add to a bowl of sliced fennel, sliced apple, rocket, and segmented mandarin
We also spoke to Jacques the mandarin duck and asked him for his own favourite mandarin recipe. Jacques, also a proficient baker, told us about his signature mandarin dessert:
“Well, I’m French and I love baking, so I love to make anything with chou à la crème, also known as cream puffs or profiteroles. The Swan Lake dessert with mandarin cream not only fulfils my love for cream puffs, but also holds a special place in my heart. Many years ago, in my youth, I fell in love with the most beautiful swan I had ever seen. Her name was Odette - just like the ballet, I know - and she was far too good for me. Ours was a whirlwind romance that ended in heartbreak, so now I bake this dessert to remind me of the good times we had together. I make this dessert with all different flavours of cream, but mandarin is my favourite. It also makes me feel like a little part of me is still with Odette…”
Um… Sorry to hear that, Jacques. The dessert sounds delicious though…
Head here for the mandarin Swan Lake recipe. Pretty impressed Jacques can pull off such a complicated recipe with his webbed feet.
#4 Mandarin lemon drop by Lola the mandarin duck
Lola the mandarin duck
We wanted to hear more drinks recipes involving mandarins so we spoke to Lola who gave us her favourite:
“Summer is my favourite season and I love drinks that make me feel like it’s summertime. A couple months ago I tried to make myself a Lemon Drop cocktail but realised I didn’t have enough lemon juice! I had a few extra mandarins lying around so I thought I’d try mixing the two together. And Oh. My. Goodness. It was incredible! It was the perfect combination of sweet and sour and, most importantly, made me feel like it was the middle of summer on a typical rainy Melbourne day. I’ll be drinking these all day, every day in summer.”
We love pretending it’s summer time when it’s raining outside! Thanks, Lola!
Try out your own Mandarin Lemon Drop with this recipe:
- 40ml vodka
- 15ml triple sec
- 20ml lemon juice
- 30ml mandarin juice
- 1 teaspoon fine sugar
Shake them all together and strain into a sugar-rimmed glass!
We also wanted to get some fun facts about mandarins, so we asked Dennis for his favourite. Here’s what he said:
“Oh! Did you know that mandarins were one of the original citrus species? You might think that the mandarin was a hybrid of some other citrus fruits, but no! It’s actually the ancestor of many other hybrids. There have been a few genetic studies on citrus fruits and they’ve suggested that many hybrids go back to the mandarin. That makes me feel pretty special being a mandarin duck. I wonder if we are an original species…”
We definitely did not know that! That makes the mandarin all the more special in our eyes.
The last mandarin duck we spoke to was Penelope. We asked her to give us some facts about how to get the perfect mandarin:
“Most Australian mandarins are available from April-October in supermarkets, but they’ll be at their very sweetest and juiciest during the winter months June-August. I’ll also give you a tip for how to choose the best mandarin: choose two mandarins and hold each one of them in your non-dominant hand one at a time - the heavier one will have more juice!”
Wow - those really are some great tips. Thanks, Penelope!
And there we have 6 mandarin recipes and facts brought to you from 6 friendly and adorable mandarin ducks!
We decided to go and do some research on the mandarins we’re using for Mandarin Monceau. Imperial and Afourer mandarins are the two types we’re using for the juice, the former being the most popular variety in Australia. We get all our mandarins from sunny Queensland and find that a mix of the two varieties gets us that sweet spot of flavour we are looking for.
Imperial mandarins are a homegrown variety that were bred by chance back in 1890. It’s one of the earliest varieties to ripen so it will be one of the better varieties to choose from at the beginning of winter.
Afourer mandarins are recognisable from their deeper red-orange rind. They are super juicy and have barely any seeds, so they’re perfect for juicing. Afourers are an imported variety of mandarin, originating from Morocco in the 1980s.
We hope you enjoyed these mandarin facts and recipes. We were very excited to create a citrusy sibling for our Blood Orange Monceau and couldn’t be happier with how Mandarin turned out. You can shop Monceau Mandarin now via our shop!
*all duck conversations have been translated by our expert in duck who prefers to stay anonymous