If you need an escape from Cleveland's frigid temps and gray skies, Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar's pomegranate ginger mojito ($7.95) will teleport you to a tropical oasis where steel drums and sunlight fill the soul. "You instantly taste that fresh, aromatic flavor from the mint mixed with the bitterness from the pomegranate juice," says Sean Latona, director of operations. "Then the ginger creeps up with a little back-of-the-throat spice." Bartenders begin by muddling four lime wedges and sugar, then add a dozen mint leaves to a 12-ounce rocks glass. "We just gently tap the mint to release the aroma," Latona says. "We like the mint to stay whole, vibrant and fresh." A pomegranate mix made from scratch with ginger root-infused simple syrup and a three-year aged white rum made especially for Paladar from a distillery in St. Lucia nearly fill the rocks glass. The contents are shaken, and then a splash of club soda and a stick of pure cane sugar complete the invigorating elixir. "The pomegranate ginger mojito is an original from when we opened seven years ago," Latona says. "The staff love it and promote it. It's one of our most popular cocktails."
28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, 216-896-9020, paladarlatinkitchen.com
Try three more cocktails bursting with fruit-filled refreshment.
Frida Kahlo Margarita
A riff on Mexico's beloved Paloma cocktail and named after a Mexican painter, Barrio mixes this drink with Espolon Tequila Blanco, club soda, grapefruit juice and orange juice, and serves it in a 16-ounce, sugar-rimmed mason jar.
Peach Tea Julep
Peachtree Southern Kitchen and Cocktails gives us a proper nod to the South with Buffalo Trace bourbon, a Southern-blended tea steeped with peaches, and lime juice served over ice in a double Old-Fashioned glass.
Fresh cranberry granita ice cubes dance with Skyy vodka, ginger, lime juice and orange liqueur in Ninja City's version of the cosmopolitan. Once the cubes melt, the icy result meets a martini glass embellished with three frozen cranberries.
$10, 11311 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 216-860-0510, ninjacity.com