Strawberry and rhubarb mojito

Meal type: Hors d’œuvre, cocktails, buffet

Dietary restrictions: vegetarian, easily vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free

Season: spring, summer
Yield: 12 servings; 2 cups syrup
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Nothing smells more like summer than rhubarb. It doesn’t last long, but we should enjoy it. Here is a festive cocktail that you could just as well make without alcohol depending on the occasion … perhaps for a brunch or baby shower. You can always replace the strawberries with more rhubarb if preferred.

Rhubarb and strawberry syrup
1 1⁄2 cups (370 ml) fresh rhubarb, in pieces
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) local strawberries, in pieces
2 cups (500 ml) water
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) organic cane sugar

1 1⁄2 oz (45 ml) white rum
1 1⁄2 oz (45 ml) rhubarb and strawberry syrup
1⁄2 oz (15 ml) lime juice
2 oz (60 ml) soda water
6 large mint leaves
1 lime wedge and a lots of ice cubes

1. Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce to low heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
3. Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing the fruit to collect all the liquid.
4. Allow the liquid to cool completely. Save the fruit to make a pie or use it as a spread for your breakfasts.

Put all cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir vigorously.
Transfer to a tall glass (highball) and garnish with extra mint leaves.

Note: if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, no problem! Mix the ingredients directly in a large glass, but be sure to mash the mint leaves first.