Miss A Columnist

Ashley Marie Sneed is currently a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte*, and has been cooking in restaurants and hotels for over six years. Her culinary talents stem from a passion for food and wine, and her desire to share that with the rest of the world has led her to pursue a career in writing. Her experiences range from dining to cooking to cultural immersions in Europe and Asia and domestic meccas such as New York, L.A. and Chicago. She loves cooking at home for friends and family, indulging at local restaurants, blogging about her culinary adventures and preparing meals for a new and upcoming personal chef company in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ashley is a Ritz-Carlton employee, but not an official company spokesperson. The opinions and positions expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ritz-Carlton, LLC.

Exotic Winter Cocktail: Kumquat Mojito

While popular in Latin America, the kumquat mojitio remains a bit eccentric and atypical here in the states, especially in climates less tropical. But that shouldn’t shy you away; the kumquats are in the peak of their November to March growing season, and go great in everything from jams and marmalades to ice creams, sauces and desserts. But most importantly, they go great with cocktails.

(Photo Credit: vanillagarlic.com)

The entirely edible fruit, with its sweet rind and slightly tart center, pairs perfectly in a mojito with muddled mint, sweet simple syrup for balance and a bit of orange juice to bring out the citrus. This drink makes for the perfect mashup of summer and winter flavors, and with cold weather in the forecast, a cocktail reminiscent of summer doesn’t sound so bad.

Summer and Winter Kumquat Mojito:

(Makes one drink)

  • 4 kumquats, halved
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz white rum
  • Splash of club soda

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the kumquats, mint and lime juice well. Add the orange juice, simple syrup and rum, and fill halfway with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a glass. Top with soda and serve immediately.

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