Rhubarb and Ginger Mojito

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Although I’m happy (and lucky) to live in Honolulu, there sure are a lot of things I miss about living on the mainland.  Proximity to family, reasonable real estate prices, and Trader Joe’s probably top the list.  And one more thing?  Sidewalk bars and cafes.

When I lived in Chicago, I loved watching the streets came alive in the spring.  After being cooped up indoors for a long, cold and windy winter, everybody wanted to spend all of their free time outside, happy hours included.  And so Chicagoans transitioned from drinking beer and shots in loud, smoky bars to sipping margaritas and mojitos on sidewalks and in back patios.

Sure, I drink mojitos year round, but they always remind me of spring and summer in Chicago, when we’d hit up post-work happy hours to soak up the day’s last rays of sunshine and partake in some people-watching on the streets of my Lincoln Park neighborhood.  Even busy, stressed-out types lingered for hours… savoring the warm evenings and freshly made drinks.

Obviously you can’t go wrong with a basic mojito (lime and mint are one of those magical combinations), but I’m also a fan of dressing them up according to whatever fruit is in season.  When summer rolls around, I’m all about watermelon and tequila mojitos.  Until then, I’ll be enjoying this rhubarb and ginger version.  Just be careful:  this seemingly innocent drink (pretty… and pink!) will sneak up on you after just one or two.

Rhubarb and Ginger Mojito

Yield: one serving

Ingredients:

* 10 mint leaves
* 1/2 of a lime, cut into three wedges
* rhubarb and ginger syrup, to taste
* 3 Tablespoons white rum (I also like using white or silver tequila)
* ice cubes
* sparkling water
* mint sprig and a slice of lime for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a glass, muddle the mint and lime wedges (I use a wooden spoon). Add the rhubarb and ginger syrup and alcohol and stir to mix. Add ice and a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of lime and mint leaves, if desired.

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