Spring and early summer is the time of year to celebrate rhubarb!
A sour, tangy stalk we’re more accustomed to seeing in pies and crumbles, who would have thought it might be just the thing to cool you down too? Especially during a time of year when temperatures are slowly and steadily rising.
Out here in the Midwest, we’re already pushing into the high 80s. With so much time spent outdoors at this time of year, there’s nothing better than grabbing a cold drink at the end of a long, hot day.
But what would make it even more wonderful? How about enjoying it with seasonal herbs and ingredients that actually, LITERALLY cool you down?
Enter an irresistible pair: rhubarb and mint.
Together, they make for an absolutely stunning, chilling rhubarb mojito – a crisp little treat that can really beat the heat.
The refreshing mint flavor is like instant air conditioning, melding expertly with the sour notes of rhubarb like the two were made to tango together.
A Cool Combo
Something so tart and minty sounds like just the thing to soothe a parched throat in hot weather, am I right? But it might surprise you to know that these two wonderful ingredients can literally help to cool your body down.
Rhubarb, on the one hand, has been used as an ancient Chinese remedy for digestive ailments and fever, via its cooling actions on the body. Today, modern medicine confirms that it could be good for combating excessive overheating conditions in the body, like hot flashes for example.
As for mint – we all know that this widely loved herb provides a cooling sensation on the tongue, in anything you sip.
While this is actually a mind trick from the actions of menthol on certain receptors – similar to rhubarb, mint (particularly spearmint) was a traditional fever remedy known to cool the body down as well.
But never mind all the claims and uses of the past. I encourage you to mix up this rhubarb mojito right here and now, and feel the effects for yourself.
Better yet, wait for a truly hot day to make it and, as I like to put it, you’ll “feel the vents open” as it instantly cools you down.
The best thing to look forward to: it will taste absolutely refreshing and delicious, too!
For even more satisfyingly sippable mojito suggestions, check out our round up of recipes from around the web!
Or – if you’re looking for alcohol free drinks similarly infused with mint and lemon – try our mint, lime, and ginger splash, or a booze-free mojito cousin from India, the nimbu pani.
- 3 pounds rhubarb (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 ounce white rum (optional - skip to make mocktail)
- 5-6 leaves mint, (preferably large-sized; muddled or torn)
- 1 wedge lime (to garnish)
- Make the rhubarb syrup first: in a medium-sized non-reactive pot (i.e. glass or ceramic), place your sliced rhubarb, brown sugar, white sugar, and water.
- Heat to a boil, then immediately turn down to medium-low. Simmer until sliced rhubarb is tender, then strain the heated mixture through a strainer or colander, and set aside. Reserve the cooked rhubarb in a pie, or your favorite baked recipe. We’ll be using the liquid to make this drink.
- Rinse and clean the pot you just used, and put the liquid back in. Boil this sugary liquid until reduced to a thick syrup, then take it off the stove to cool completely.
- Once cooled, it’s mojito time! Fill a highball or pint glass with cubed or crushed ice, and add 4 tablespoons of rhubarb syrup. You can muddle your mint right in the glass before adding the syrup and ice cubes, or muddle in separate container beforehand to add after these two ingredients. Then, add your white rum and give it a stir (optional if you are going for a mocktail).
- Top with seltzer, tonic water, or club soda (or get creative with some ginger ale). Garnish with a lime wedge. Enjoy!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Start the Rhubarb Syrup
Chop your rhubarb stalks nice and thin, then toss them into your chosen non-reactive pot. Glass and ceramic work best, since the fruit (or vegetable, however you look at it) is quite acidic and can cause the metal to leach into your syrup.
Add both types of sugar, and the water.
Step 2 – Bring It to a Boil
Please on the stove and bring your ingredients to a boil, but you don’t want that boil going for long. As soon as it is reached, turn the heat down to medium-low, sustaining a gentle simmer.
Once the chopped stalks are soft, strain the liquid through a colander or strainer into a separate container. Toss the stalks into the compost, or keep them for another recipe, if you prefer.
Step 3 – Boil and Reduce
Return the liquid to the pot, and turn up the heat to bring it back to a boil.
Sustain this gentle boil until the liquid is reduced to a thick, sugary syrup. Once it reaches your desired thickness, remove it from the stove and let it cool completely.
Step 4 – Start Your Mojito Cocktail
Once your quick-to-make syrup is cooled down all the way, get a glass ready to craft your drink. Add your ice, syrup, and muddled or torn mint leaves to the bottom of a pint-sized glass or highball.
Four tablespoons are needed per drink to make this mojito, so you will have enough to make more than one cocktail. Save that extra for another drink. Or, double the recipe to enjoy with a friend!
You can either muddle your mint first right in the bottom of the glass before adding ice, or muddle it separately (with a mortar and pestle, for example) and add after the ice and syrup.
It’s your choice whether to use ice cubes or crushed ice – either works fine. Finally, add your rum, and stir.
Step 5 – Top and Garnish
The last part: top all these ingredients with a chilled, bubbly tonic water, seltzer, or club soda until the glass is almost full.
For a final touch, cut a small wedge of lime and place it as a garnish on the rim for decoration and a little tang.
You’re now ready to drink, enjoy… and simply chill out!
Perfect for a picnic, garden party, or sipping poolside, this drink offers everything you want in a refreshing seasonal cocktail.
Ever kicked back with a rhubarb mojito before? Or maybe you’ve used rhubarb (or mint) in another cooling, crave-worthy cocktail in the past (like this chocolate mint mojito, our classic recipe with mint-lime ice cubes, or maybe even a tomatillo version)?
We want to hear from you! Tell us about your experiences with cooling rhubarb and mint beverages, or share how your version of this beverage turned out by writing to us in the comments section below.
Photos by Adrian White, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Adrian White
Adrian White is a certified herbalist, organic farmer, and health/food writer and expert. She aims to bridge the world of natural, holistic health and nutrition to the realm of organic foods, herbalism, gardening, and sustainability - or "Food as Medicine" - throughout her writing.
28 thoughts on “Chill Out With a Rhubarb Mojito”
Seems like a great summer drink for when your outside with family i can’t wait to try it.
Certainly do, Lashawna – and I absolutely love to relax outside and let it cool me off. I hope you like it when you try it. Thanks for reading!
Wow, a rhubarb mojito! here in my part of the world, rhubarb is only ever served in a crumble (or “cobbler”) or occasionally made into wine. It’s great to see another use for it, especially as I live very close to a rhubarb growing area.
That’s right, Missbishi – you don’t have to enjoy the pink stalks only in a crumble, cobbler, or pie. It is funny that it comes into season during a time of year that can potentially get very hot, and its use in a thirst-quenching, cooling drink is still relatively unknown! I bet recipes like this (and others out there like it) will change that. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I might try it minus the rum. Alcohol is about one of the worst things you can do to your body in the heat. I never understood the predilection of some to drink something that serves to dehydrate them when it is hot.
NYTEGeek – thanks for reading. For sure, you can make a wonderful, alcohol-free, virgin mocktail out of this recipe and it’s still mighty tasty – but if you enjoy just one or two on a hot day, I don’t think people need to be excessively worried about their health. That is, unless you start binge drinking these one right after the other. You can still get that refreshing and hydrating effect in moderation, and alcohol really only dehydrates you if you begin to drink it in excess. Thank you for your comment!
I am drawn to making this drink! It sounds very refreshing and I can forage for rhubarb and mint locally, there’s plenty of each growing around the edges of the vines and all bio because the surrounding vineyards are 100% bio. It will go down well as I watch the tennis final on TV.
Thanks for reading Julie, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it – especially if you have the pleasure of picking the ingredients yourself. That’s what I do. Nothing is better or fresher!
I have several mint plants in my garden and you are right: there’s nothing more refreshing than a mint-based beverage during the summer. I usually pick one of two leaves and put them in almost every drink, from lemonade to iced tea.
Thank you for the great recipe, this is one of my favorite summer cocktails but I had never thought of using rhubarb in it. It sounds like a delicious combination, I’ll have to pass this recipe to my friend, he is an experienced barman and he often makes cocktails for everyone during summer gatherings. I could even try it out on my own, it sounds rather easy!
Snarya, thanks for reading! I think your bartender friend will get a real kick out of this recipe, or experimenting with these springy, sour stalks in general. The taste doesn’t just go great with mint and rum, but also gin and ginger beer as well. Nothing like a rhubarb gin and tonic, with a bit of lime – my goodness! The way it tastes with mint is absolutely singular, though. And yes – it’s so easy to make. Definitely give it a try.
I saw the word ‘Mojito’ and I was in! This is one of my favourite cocktails, but I have never seen a rhubarb version on any cocktail menus. I am definitely going to make some of these next time the girls come round!
UKfoodiegirl, I definitely don’t see the stalks around too often on cocktail menus either – but if you stumble upon those truly exploratory, experimental, modern, and unique little restaurants and pubs out there, you’ll find that it’s being picked up and used a lot in different drinks and blends. One of those seasonal ingredients that sparks culinary innovation these days, I guess. Keep looking – you might find it in a special little spot one of these days. Of course, you don’t need to if you can make it yourself! Thanks for reading.
One of my favorite feelings is drinking cold water with some mint leavs, mint is definitely a game changer when it comes to water, or at least for me.
I can’t wait to try this one, it seems like a more creative (and actually more healthy) option that the typical beer on a summer day.
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for reading, anorexorcist. If you take out the rum (and perhaps minimize the sugar, or replace it with stevia or another alternative, for example) it could be a healthy little beverage or mocktail. But hey – a little bit of rum once in a while isn’t going to kill you, right? And it might be just the stress reliever you need to kick back at the end of a hot day. In that case, it’s healthy!
This drink looks extremely refreshing and unique. I have to say that I have never seen rhubarb used in a drink and I am a sucker for fresh ingredients in my summer cocktails. Gonna make a small batch for myself to test. Might be a great drink to bring out for July 4th!
I feel like a lot of people are scared of drinks like this and mint julep that have fresh ingredients because they think it’s difficult to make. This seems relatively easy though. Keep the drink recipes coming!
Dame, definitely would be great for the hot of July 4th! If you can still find rhubarb stalks around then (don’t think I could around here in the Midwest, though maybe) it’s certainly worth a shot. And yes – you wouldn’t think it would make a great drink, but apparently those tart, sour, tangy stalks are just meant to be put in beverages (in my opinion, more so than food – but I don’t want to get heckled!) Easy to make, too. Hope you enjoy!
Sounds like an intriguing combination! Though I’m wondering if distilled water would work best in the recipe also if the flavor would still be good ( or stronger) after being left overnight?
Thanks for reading, Morgan! Not sure about distilled water being better, but sounds like it would be an excellent experiment. You can definitely hold on to the simple syrup part of the recipe for a while if you put it in the fridge, but only for a couple days, or it may start to go bad or grow mold. However, I do think making a drink with that chilled syrup could make it tastier! As for the actual flavor getting stronger overnight? Not sure about that one either – but you can certainly experiment and share here, Morgan!
Seems pretty simple to make and sounds incredibly fantastic, think I’ll cut the rum though as I’m not really that much of a fan of it. I am however a fan of mint, so I definitely have to try this sometime soon, especially with how hot it’s been lately where I live.
Yuin, you can most definitely cut the rum in this recipe and make it into a simple mocktail. It still manages to be delicious!
I loved that this is such an original idea for a drink! I have never seen a recipe that is so natural and delicious at the same time. I plan on making this for guests in the future. It is a very nice drink for the hot summer days.
You wouldn’t suspect rhubarb to be so great in a drink, am I right? But it truly is delicious. I hope you like it! Thanks for reading Amaya!
This recipe seems so easy to make. I never drank something with rhubarb in it so I have to try it out s summer and see if I like it. Thanks so much for sharing!
You’re welcome sahara and thank you for reading! Certainly do give this cocktail (or mocktail) a try!
What a great use for rhubarb! I always have an abundance of it in my garden so I’m constantly on the hunt for new recipes to try. You can only make so many pies and stewed greens! Thank you for sharing this, I feel inspired to tackle the summer months with a lemonade alternative.
Jinkies, thank you for reading! Yep, it’s an excellent new thing to do with the springy stalk. I’m shocked to hear that you stew the greens of the plant, though! Doesn’t that make you awful sick? Ore are you talking about a completely different green altogether?
Oh, goodie, it’s time for summer cocktails! I have to admit, I never would have come up with this particular combination, but it certainly sounds interesting and refreshing.
I am not always the biggest fan of sour stuff, but I do enjoy spearmint. I also know somebody else who would just love this. I’ll have to treat her to this new treat next time she visits.
This would go great with a large variety of favorite summer foods and snacks as well. Cool.
Thank you for reading, Zyni! The lovely thing about this drink is that it gets no more sour than your average lemonade or limeade. The sweet and sour balances out to be very thirst-quenching and refreshing, less so unbearably or intensely tart. The spearmint only makes it better!