Mint plants are generally very easy to grow. The plants enjoy a damp soil and most tolerate a bit of shade. Keep the herbs weeded and separated from other varieties of mints to avoid cross-pollination.
In the home, mint has long been used as an aromatic. In the past it was used as a strewing herb. Today it is commonly used in sachets and potpourris. Some soap makers add small amounts of dried mint to their soaps to make a cleansing soap for oily skin. There are many varieties of mint, such as peppermint, apple mint, and curly mint. Each variety of mint has been used to cure numerous ailments, ranging from an upset stomach to nervousness.
Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows well in shady areas, although it can handle full sun if kept watered. Most mints are perennials. When planted in a good location, the herb will return year after year. Cuttings of mint will root easily in soil or water and mature plants can be divided and transplanted.
Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing.
To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance. Harvesting: Snip sprigs and leaves as needed. If you don’t harvest your mint regularly, it will benefit greatly from a shearing mid-season. At some point, you will probably notice the stems getting longer and the leaves getting shorter. That’s the time to cut the plants back by 1/3 to ½ and get them sending out fresh new foliage again. You can do small patches at a time, if you have a lot of mint, and prolong the harvest season. All cuttings can be used, dried or frozen for later use. You can use, dry or freeze the cuttings.
Delicious edibles are also flavored with mint. Favorite items include mint tea, mint sauce, and mint jelly. Mint leaves are also used to flavor cheeses, breads, and salads.
Mint Julep Anyone who is into horse racing will be familiar with this, the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby during which some 80,000 juleps are served. Traditionally Mint Juleps are served in silver or pewter cups and held by the handle or rim in order for the cup to obtain optimum frost. As an alternative to muddling the mint and sugar cube you can also infuse a sugar syrup with mint. With this much bourbon in a drink, slow sipping is the appropriate way to imbibe.
· leaves from 4-5 mint sprigs · 2 sugar cubes or 1/2 oz simple syrup · 2 1/2 oz bourbon · mint sprig for garnish · Preparation:
Place the mint and simple syrup or sugar into a julep cup, collins glass or double old-fashioned glass. Muddle well to dissolve the sugar and to release the oil and aroma of the mint. Add the bourbon Fill with crushed ice and stir well until the glass becomes frosty. Garnish with the mint sprig.
Spicy Orange Mint Sauce No more bright green mint jelly! This spicy orange mint sauce recipe is so quick and easy to make, and is a great condiment for any cut of lamb, especially lamb chops, and roasted leg of lamb.
Makes About 1 Cup Spicy Orange Mint Sauce Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
· 3/4 cup orange jelly or marmalade · 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar · 1 tbsp water · 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste · pinch of salt · 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Preparation: Add all ingredients, except the mint, to a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and stir in the fresh mint. Refrigerate until needed.
The Real Mojito This is an authentic recipe for mojito. I sized the recipe for one serving, but you can adjust it accordingly and make a pitcher full. It's a very refreshing drink for hot summer days. Be careful when drinking it, however. If you make a pitcher you might be tempted to drink the whole thing yourself, and you just might find yourself talking Spanish in no time! Tonic water can be substituted instead of the soda water but the taste is different and somewhat bitter."
· 10 fresh mint leaves · 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges · 2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste · 1 cup ice cubes · 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum · 1/2 cup club soda
1. Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.
Cuban Mojito By: Teala B
"This is a traditional mojito recipe, very similiar to the drinks I enjoyed in Varadero, Cuba. The muddling and the order of the ingredients helps ensure that all the flavours are well blended. Serve with a straw and a decorative stir stick to keep the different flavours well mixed together. Mint sprigs may be used for a garnish instead of lime wedges. Enjoy!"
2 teaspoons white sugar 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges 4 sprigs fresh mint 1/2 cup white rum 2 cups club soda 2 cups crushed ice 2 wedges lime, as garnish
Place 1 teaspoon of sugar into each of two 12 ounce glasses. Squeeze the juice from a lime wedge into each glass, drop in the wedge, and add 2 sprigs of mint. Use a spoon or muddler to mash the sugar, lime juice, and mint together in the bottom of the glasses. Fill each glass about half full with crushed ice. Pour 1/4 cup rum into each glass. Fill the glasses with club soda, stir, and garnish with additional lime wedges.