Mandarin mojitos are my anecdote for the gloomy, depressing weather that we’ve had all season long here in my neck of the PNW woods. I understand that Portland has the distinction of being the most winter fatigued city in the US this year. I know that I’m certainly fatigued by the constant threat of ice and snow. It’s been so bad in the Columbia Gorge region that Hood River County’s Sheriff made veiled threats against Punxsutawney Phil’s life if he insisted on seeing his shadow. Yes – I know – only in Oregon. Still, I think that sheriff could have used one of my mandarin mojitos. It might have made him feel a bit sunnier when Phil did inevitably scurry away from his shadow and doomed us to six more weeks of winter.
Fortunately, citrus is in season. I love mandarin oranges and am always too tempted to buy large bags of them from Trader Joe’s where they languish in the cupboard because I forget to take them with me to snack on throughout the day. I’m trying to be better about that, and also decided I might as well use the stragglers in a cocktail. Thus, the mandarin mojito was born. I sort of resent having to buy mint from the grocery store, but it’s definitely worth it to mix up a pitcher of mandarin mojitos. You can sip and pretend it’s summer time that way. They are also great for when you just gave the blonde dog a bath the day before and then she goes out and tramps through the mud – just saying.
You might also pin the recipe and hold onto it for the first barbecue of spring, or the first sunny day, or the first day it’s warm enough to wear sandals. You can tell that these are all firsts I’m definitely longing for right now.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 5 - 6 sprigs of mint
- 4 limes, quartered
- 4 mandarin oranges, quartered
- 1 cup white rum
- 12 ounces club soda
- In a pitcher, layer the sugar and mint and muddle. Add the limes and mandarin oranges and muddle some more - try to get as much juice mixed into the mint and sugar as you can. Add the rum and top with club soda. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint and a quarter of the lime and a quarter of the mandarin orange.
- Serves 4 - 5. Enjoy!