This Clementine Ginger Cocktail is a rum-based citrus drink that's perfect for sipping during the transition between seasons. Feel free to swap out the clementines for any other citrus and the rum for the liquor of your choice.
(This recipe was originally published in 2016, but has been updated with new photos and content in 2021.)
When I first wrote this post back in 2016, I was happily planning a tropical vacation. This cocktail was meant to hold me over until I was able to get away from work and to the beach. Those were the days.
This time, I am not planning a tropical vacation. BUT the weather is starting to warm up here in New England and I'm planning a delightful spring and summer filled with lots of outside time. And lots of cocktails.
Of course, there's plenty to love about summer drinks (berries! sangria! rosé!), but we shouldn't be discounting all of the glorious concoctions we can make in cooler weather. Especially with winter citrus, which is still in full abundance, even though spring is technically here.
I've been eating clementines by the dozen and am always thinking about how they'd be delicious in cocktail form. Muddled clementines, combined with ginger, basil, and rum take winter citrus and turn it into a tropical treat!
How to Make Clementine Ginger Cocktails
Making this cocktail couldn't be easier! Simply add a clementine, mint leaves, and grated fresh ginger into a cocktail shaker.
Muddle it really well, extracting as much juice from the clementine as possible.
And then add ice, rum, and simple syrup. Shake it up.
Strain into a cocktail glass. I recommend using coupe glasses.
Garnish the glass with a little clementine wedge, piece of ginger, and a mint leaf.
If you love clementines, you'll love clementines with rum. I promise. It's basically impossible not to.
Can't find clementines? Love the idea of this drink, but not a fan of rum? No problem! There are a ton of substitutes you can make to this cocktail. Here are a few ideas:
- Instead of Clementines: Use any type of citrus! If you're loving sumo oranges (they seem to be the official citrus of 2021) or cara cara (my favorites!) or mandarins, you can use any of those in place of clementines.
You may want to leave out a few wedges of the fruit though, since most citrus fruit is larger than the typical clementine. Or just add in more of the other ingredients!
- Instead of Rum: Vodka would be the most obvious substitute for this cocktail and would be a delicious complement to the citrus and ginger. But tequila would work, too, and you could turn this into a margarita. I think gin would also be delicious.
Any time I muddle mint into a cocktail, I feel like it's summer. Or that I should be sitting on a beach on a tropical island. I love that it can be combined with clementines for a cool weather sipper.
The ginger also offers a little bit of warmth, making this clementine cocktail perfect for the transition from winter to spring.
More Cocktail Recipes
If you want to feel like you're sitting on a beach instead of in an office, I've got plenty of cocktail recipes that will help transport you! While all of these cocktails have a tropical-feel to them, they're appropriate for any time of year:
- Blueberry Vodka Lemonade
- Key Lime Pie Mojito
- Sour Patch Kids Margarita
- Cinnamon Pear Sangria
- Blueberry Coconut Margarita
- Tequila Thyme Lemonade
- Honeydew Ginger Frozen Margarita
- Pineapple and Rum Goldeneye Cocktail (from Amy Cakes)
- Watermelon Mai Tai (from Spoonabilities)
And now I will pour myself another clementine ginger cocktail while I stare out the window and marvel at the fact that it's staying light out so late.
And wish away the rest of that stubborn snow that won't seem to melt away.
Annnd I'll probably also continue to count down the days until vacation where I can get any cocktail my heart desires.
What's your favorite citrus fruit?
Clementine Ginger Cocktail
- 1 clementine peeled and sectioned, plus more for garnish
- 6 small mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 ½ oz. light rum
- 1 oz. simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Add clementine sections, mint leaves, and grated ginger into and cocktail shaker and muddle well, extracting as much juice as possible from clementine.
- Add ice to shaker, along with rum and simple syrup. Shake well.
- Strain cocktail into a small glass and garnish with clementine wedge, peeled ginger, and mint leaf.
- Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Bring to a simmer and let simmer until sugar is dissolved and syrup begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour syrup into a heat-proof jar or bowl and let cool completely. Keep in fridge until ready to use.