Kumquat Mojito in 82 December

Sunday, December 20, 2009

-Rum+Kumquats+Orange+Mint=Very Merry Christmas-

Southern California winters are vastly different from Northern California winters, or indeed any other winter in the world. The leaves on the trees don't change color, but rather retain their verdant foliage. Defiantly, they dance in the balmy wind making laughing sounds as they flutter into one another. "Ha ha, Earth! Ha ha, Sun! Take your solstice and shove it!" they cry.

BF and I actually stripped down to t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops to walk Faith, my mother's dog, a spirited and well-behaved Weimaraner whose only real fault is being unable to comprehend that, no, the cats do not want to be your friend. The sun was high and bright, blinding you like the light over the dentist's chair. A breezy wind was always at our backs gently pushing us along to see as much of this Mid-Winter Spring as we could. It was 79 degrees outside.

82 Fahrenheit. December 20th.

I'll let this sink in for a bit.

Seriously, So Cal has plenty of issues, but the weather is not one of them. I wish I could pack the sunshine and verdant air into my luggage and bring it back with me. Growing up here made me a total wuss to any other weather which causes me to expire and complain in whiny pitches so high only animals can hear me bitch with contempt, "Sweet Rum Sucking Christ, it's too damn hot/cold." Having recently escaped the snow inducing temperatures of Nor Cal it's good to be back in my native system where my body can rejuvenate.

This land of eternal sun puts you in a Summer mindset. I'm ready to bust out the BBQ (indeed, we'll be throwing some flank steak on the grill for Christmas dinner) and I have a hunger for freshly churned custard heavy ice cream, and the sensation of having a plum's juice trickle down my arm and ripple off my elbow after taking a generous bite. Sadly, the produce isn't quite as agreeable and willfully follows the tilt of the earth.

-Little capsules of Spring spring up surprisingly early in Orange County.-

Still, citrus is abundant here and the warm weather has allowed my mother's mint plant to thrive like a small invading army ready to conquer the yard. I found a fresh supply of kumquats - though I was reticent to pay for them as I'm so used to getting them for free from my tree - and decided a refreshing mojito would be the perfect drink to go along with reading in a patio chair outside.

Simple, easy, light. A perfect, citrusy-tart sweet drink in the middle of Winter. Or faux-Spring. Whatever it is for you.

-Why is all the rum gone? Because I drank a bunch of these mojitos.-

Kumquat Mojito
4 kumquats, sliced
juice of half of an orange
4 mint leaves, torn
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 ounces white rum
2 ounces of club soda
crushed ice
slice of kumquat and sprig of mint for garnish (optional)

1. Put the kumquats, orange juice, mint leaves, and sugar into a glass and muddle them.

2. Add the rum, soda, and ice and stir. Serve.

-Why do I not do more drinks or cocktails on this blog? Because I drink faster than I take pictures.-


  1. Completely jealous...I'm faced instead with how to clean the dog poop out of the run that's covered over in ice on the north side of our Denver home. No wonder I stay inside and cook instead!

  2. Can I come crash on your couch for a week. It's too cold in NY and two feet of snow is to much for me.

  3. I totally know what you mean! I'm a San Diego native and thought I'd go to school up in Berkeley to experience these things called seasons, only to find that if the temperature dips below 67 my teeth clatter. I never appreciated the weather when I lived in SoCal but now I can never wait to go back! This mojito looks delicious by the way. I've been following your blog for a few weeks now and I just love it!

  4. Wow. I could use about 4 of those mojitos right now. I can imagine that they would go down nice and easy. I am wondering, did you ever consider making a simple syrup out of the kumquats?

  5. Jason - You know, I did, but I was feeling very lazy that day. ;)

  6. Garrett, I truly wished I could have read this entire entry. However, after seeing the warm temperature and skimming down and seeing how you and your boyfriend walked in the warm sun with your moms dog and the quick picture of that oh so intoxicating Kumquat Mojito, I decided to get my thicker sweatshirt on and kick the heat up a tad higher and bitch about the weather here. It's effing cold here in NJ!! But I promise, when it gets above 20, I'll scroll up and read and thoroughly enjoy your blog as I ALWAYS do. Until then, you two enjoy it!

  7. Your photo of the kumquats in a bowl is perfection. So vibrant.

  8. Oh yummy! I love love love citrus flavoured cocktails! This one looks delicious!

  9. My parents live in Sydney and I have pics of them sunning in spectacular parks and gardens. I am envious of weather, I never used to be but this is what happened when I moved to NY. That's my only gripe. I love this place.
    Your recipes are delicious. I sent you an email with some moderations I made on your almond crescents and I can't make them fast enough. Too delicious for words.
    I use kumquats for centerpieces but I will try your mojito recipe. Happy holidays

  10. Ok, I already loved mojitos but this is like my dream come true. Gorgeous! All your talk of Cali weather is making me jealous - I'm spending Christmas in tropical England!

    Happy Holidays!

  11. It's SO not fair! I live in AZ (Tucson) and suffer through horrid heat all summer, but now? It's effin' cold HERE too!!! I feel bad about complaining, cos we don't have snow and ice, but it certainly is nowhere near the 80s either! In fact, at night we have frost on the ground, still there when I leave for work in the mornings. I need to move back to SoCal ASAP!!!


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