Oh my Darlin’ Clementines, how we’ve come to love you. Call them clementines, baby tangerines or Cuties, these sweet small oranges have won our hearts.
My firstborn grandson Nate, at age 3, once ate almost a whole bowl full of Clementines on a family beach vacation to San Clemente. We sat in awe, watching as he peeled and ate one after another, “all by himself,” and ate them with glee as we sat on the porch and watched the sea waves roll in.
I tuck Clementines into my purse on all my airplane trips now because they not only have Vitamin C, but a nice serving of fiber.
So, I figured, nutritious as they are, if one should add clementine juice to a martini, it would practically be a health drink…right?
In fact, the juice of 3 or 4 clementines and a shot or two of vodka, shaken with ice, yields a simple, lovely martini that needs no other sweetener. It is perfectly balanced as is.
But recently I tried a cocktail with St. Germains liqueur added, which is made from delicate elderberry flowers, but smells and tastes faintly of grapefruit. It was divine. Add this liqueur to the clementine and vodka, and you’ve got yourself an exotic, refreshing martini of citrus heaven.
The martini worked out so well, I took a glance at the mint already burgeoning in my herb garden this day in early April, and thought, “Hmm…. clementine mojitos! How could those not be good?”
Then my husband got our tax bill from the accountant and suddenly volunteered to taste any and all martinis and mojitos I made tonight, sacrificing for the good of this blog. Bless his heart.
Needless to say, we are now both happy campers. The martinis? Excellent. The mojitos? Amazing.
Just in time for tax season, I bequeath you both recipes.
Becky’s Clementine Martini
1/4 to 1/3 c. clementine juice (3 to 4 small clementines)
3 T. vodka
1 -2 T. St. Germain’s Elderberry Liqueur (depending on how strong you want it)
2 T. organic raw sugar mixed with 1/2 t. clementine zest (for rimming glass)
Put martini glass into freezer to chill. Put clementine juice, vodka and St. Germain’s into a shaker of ice. Shake-shake-shake. In a shallow bowl mix sugar and clementine zest. Take chilled glass out of freezer, run a slice of clementine around the rim to moisten the edge, then dip in sugar & clementine zest mixture.
Strain martini and pour into cold sugar-zest rimmed martini glass.
Becky’s Clementine Mojito
1 T. organic raw sugar
1/2 t. clementine zest
5 to 7 mint leaves
Juice of 3 clementines
1 T fresh lime juice
3 T. rum or vodka
club soda or sparkling water to top off glass
Into a tall glass put mint leaves, sugar and clementine zest. Muddle with stick end of a wooden spoon to bruise the mint leaves and help the sugar to dissolve and melt. To this mixture add clementine and lime juice, rum or vodka. Stir. Add ice and top off drink with club soda or sparkling water. Stir once more and garnish, if you like, with slices of lime, clementine and a small sprig of mint.
Non-alcoholic Variation: These mojitos are perfect for your non-alcoholic guests or children if you leave out the liquor and just add a wee bit more sugar (or agave) and club soda or sparkling water. Nice alternative to lemonade for summertime sipping.