A pomelo or “citrus maxima” is a citrus fruit similar to a grapefruit. I don’t think I ever saw one until I moved to California. Pomelos are native to South and Southeast Asia and are popular during the mid-autumn or mooncake festival. Pomelos are typically large, pale green to yellow when ripe, with a sweet white, pink or red flesh and a thick outer rind. The fruit itself tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit–but lacking its bitterness. This lack of bitterness is what made me think to use it for a mojito.
A mojito is a favorite drink of mine, and apparently Ernest Hemingway. But not all mojitos are created equally, and if I’m served one with flat soda I honestly can’t drink it. A traditional mojito cocktail is made with just five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and mint. It is actually considered a low alcohol content cocktail in comparison to many others. The traditional Cuban recipe calls for spearmint or yerba Buena (a mint variety popular in Cuba). The mint and the sugar are there to compliment the rum making it a light and refreshing cocktail.
For those who can’t remember, the mojito’s sudden spike in popularity happened in the early 2000’s, today even restaurant chains like Applebees carry multiple variations of the thirst-quencher. By 2014, the mojito was considered the most popular drink in both Britain and France, I think that says a lot about this tasty drink.
Although I love a traditional mojito, this drink is fun to tinker with. The pomelo seemed like the perfect addition and their looming presence in the grocery store finally got the best of me. My pomelo mojito is one tasty cocktail. Still light and refreshing, but with a bit more depth and fruity flavor. Although not required, I use Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum for my recipe, which is fantastic. This twist on a classic works well in my eyes and may just become my new go-to cocktail this summer.
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed Pomelo juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
- 2 1/2 ounces dark rum
- club soda to finish
- mint sprig, for garnish
- edible flowers, for garnish (optional)
- Step 1 Using a cocktail shaker, add the fresh mint leaves and lime wedge. Using a muddler, muddle the mixture well, breaking the mint eaves up into smaller pieces.
- Step 2 Add the Pomelo juice, lime juice and sugar. Continue to muddle until well mixed.
- Step 3 Add the rum and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
- Step 4 Pour into the desired serving glass with lots of ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and some edible flowers if you want to be fancy.