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!
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.
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.