Song for Mona

We love the sweet-tart flavors of ume plum wine, but it’s a difficult ingredient to use in cocktails; it can come across as overpowering and one-note, saccharine-sweet. It’s a challenge, but one that Jimmy Vongsouvanh at Rainbow Chinese Restaurant and Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed with flying colors.

Inspired by the neon-fuschia wedges of pickled plums beloved by the restaurant’s owner, Vongsouvanh offset plum wine with their own house-made sweet and sour sauce. Use that if you’ve got it – but a simpler mix of lemon juice and simple syrup is lovely, too. Topped with light, refreshing cava (or another sparkling white wine), the result is a lovely glass of bubbly with a unique twist.

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Fill a wine glass or tall glass with ice, then build the drink in the order given. If you happen to have Chinese sweet-and-sour sauce on hand, use it in place of the lemon juice and simple syrup. Garnish with fresh mint and fresh or pickled plum slices.

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