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Best culinary mint (for mojitos, really)

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Are there any cook-gardeners who can advise me on what kind of mint to plant for my summer mojitos? Which mint would give me that classic mint taste?

I'll probably be making a few Vietnamese summer rolls, too (although we call them "spring rolls" here in the land of ice and snow - go figure!) But I'll need a different kind of mint for Vietnamese food, right?

And if I find something exotic and tasty, I might even make a mint-fruit sorbet. Any suggestions for a mint and for the fruit to go with it?

There are so many mints to choose from: Candy mint, Banana mint, Chocolate mint, Grapefruit mint, Apple mint, Orange mint, Lavender mint, Peppermint, Scotch mint, Lebanese mint, Spearmint, Blue Balsam mint, .... (That's only half the list in my plant catalog!)

Please help me choose a few good "cooking mints" for my garden!

Thanks,
Anne

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  1. You need only concern yourself with two:

    Spearmint (used mostly in savory preparations and in beverages like mint julep)

    Peppermint (used mostly in sweet preparations; it is less complex, more pungent and more cooling than spearmint due to differences in essential oils)

    Unlike many herbs that like relatively dry conditions, mint loves moisture. Unless you contain the roots (and their runners) well, it will become invasive in many US climates. Be brutal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S

      I should also note that peppermint's essential oils act as a perfect digestif because they anaesthetize the stomach lining. That's why we have after-dinner mints. Before there was Priloce and Zantec, there was peppermint. It really works well for that purpose.

    2. I can't live w/o my ginger mint. Great in lemonade, ice tea, make a refreshing granita.

      Personally I prefer peppermint for mojitos but my husband think spearmint is more "traditional" but only because that is what they used when we were in Miami.

      I grow ginger mint, peppermint, spearmint and lemon mint (not a fan of the lemon, it is kind of fake tasting but its is like a weed and I can't seem to get rid of it!!)

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodiex2

        I haven't found a good way to use lemon mint, either!

      2. I really love my Chocolate Mint, ithas good depth of flavor.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Another vote for the chocolate mint. I also like English mint. I planted both this year on either side of our patio this year (didn't want to choke the garden). Unfortunately, our lawn guys took a weed whacker to both of them.

          2. I've seen the classic Cuban mojito mint referred to as Mentha nemorosa. Perhaps you could track it down in your catalog? Most people in the US substitute the sweet tasting spearmint as peppermint *can* be overbearingly hot and menthol flavored.

            When you pick your mint, do so in the early morning before the little bugs attach themselves to the plant. :-)

            1. f
              Fois gras fan

              I'd love a good recipe for mojitos...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Fois gras fan

                Basic Mojito Recipe:

                2 Parts white rum
                .5 part triple sec (only if desired)
                .5 simple syrup
                Muddle or Smack 3-4 mint leaves per cup (If muddle please do so lightly and don' t make a huge mashup of everything; it'll let the harshness of the mint get out)
                Juice from 1 lime
                .
                1. Muddle or Smack mint into cup
                2. Juice the lime
                3. Add the alcohol & simple syrup (typical drink is 2 shots rum, .5 shotish simple syrup)
                4. Add ice and Shake it!
                5. Finish the top off with a mint spring and some soda water on top

                Mojito! You can mod this recipe easily for puree's; just don't add so much simple syrup. Also I've found that a bit of St Germaine and Mango Puree make an AWESOME mango mojito