Every year, the second the weather warms up, I suddenly have an epiphany about how much I love some simple, refreshing cocktail and proceed to drink it every chance I get for the next 4 months. This year, that cocktail is the Rhubarb Mojito, which I’ve very slightly adapted from one of my new favorite food blogs, Not Without Salt. Have a picnic? I’m going to bring this. BBQ time? I’ve got a Rhubarb Mojito in hand. Hanging by the pool? I know exactly what I need. Sitting around the house? … Well, you get the picture.
I’m embarrassed to say that I had never had rhubarb in a cocktail before, seeing as I love to use fruit, vegetables, and herbs in mixed drinks. Including fresh ingredients makes for amazing flavor, not to mention that it makes me feel a bit better about drinking in general, because at least I’m getting some nutrients in the process. By the way, rhubarb contains disease-fighting antioxidants (and even is believed to prevent cancer), can help lower cholesterol, and is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Also, mint was originally grown as a medicinal herb and is still used as one today– I won’t list the many ways that mint is good for you, but trust me, there are many. In short, this is a cocktail that makes you feel good in a few ways (as if it needed any added bonuses).
But let’s be honest here: I’m not drinking the Rhubarb Mojito because of antioxidants. I’m not drinking it because of the pink-and-green contrast that makes it look oh so pretty. I’m drinking it because it tastes good. In fact, I’d even venture to say it tastes great– After drinking these, every other mojito seems to be lacking in comparison. The addition of nutmeg to the traditional mojito opens up a whole new level of flavor possibility, but the real star is the rhubarb, which is used in a deliciously tart and refreshing simple syrup and added to the drink.
You can also use the simple syrup over ice cream, in iced teas, or to mix up for other cocktails throughout the summer, and it’s very easy to make (hence the name “simple syrup), so try it out!
- 8 oz chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 oz white rum
- 4 oz rhubarb syrup
- 8 (or so) mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Pinch nutmeg
- Soda water, to top
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot over high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for a minute, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by ⅓. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.
- Strain the out the rhubarb and reserve it to spread on toast, use on top of ice cream, or mix in with yogurt. Keep the syrup in a covered container in the fridge-- it will stay good for 2 weeks.
- For the Mojitos:
- Add the nutmeg and mint leaves to the bottom of both glasses. Use a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon to muddle the ingredients. Make sure you mash the mint leaves well to release the flavor. Add the rum and the simple syrup and stir the mixture a bit to combine.
- Add ice, top with soda water, and garnish with rhubarb and mint. Serve immediately.