Every year, for many years, I’ve grown spearmint — and often, other types of mint — in my garden.
Mint is a perennial, and it’s incredibly prolific. It’s best grown in a pot, or you might find it spread all over your yard! I grow mine in barrels along the outside of my garden. We harvest a bit every few days, sprigs at a time, to make fresh mint tea. There’s nothing like it. Beautiful, fresh sweetness with a touch of raw honey.
Sadly, mint days do not last forever. It grows from roughly late March through early November (or until we have a hard freeze), but that means we have 5 mint-less months each year. We need to preserve that goodness for the cold months, so that we can enjoy it all year around.
I greatly prefer the softer, sweeter flavor of spearmint, but you can use peppermint if you want. Chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, and others would be fun — and unique — too!
DIY Mint Extract
- 1 1/2 c. fresh or dried mint leaves
- 2 c. vodka (or your preferred 80-proof alcohol)
Step 1: Add mint leaves to a mason jar.
Step 2: Pour over the alcohol to completely cover.
Step 3: Shake well.
Step 4: Set aside to steep for 6 – 8 weeks. The longer it steeps, the more flavorful it will be.
Step 5: Strain the mint leaves out and bottle your extract.
Your mint extract is ready to use! Add to homemade baked goods, ice cream, or tea.
Here’s a video on how to make it:
I love making my own extracts. I recently started making vanilla extract for my family members and I can’t wait to try this out!
Are there ways to make without alcohol ? My husband is “dry” 30-plus years now, and hates to see alcohol in the house. If he sees it go in a recipe that gets cooked, he still won’t eat it! Any ideas?
I’ve seen recipes using food grade vegetable glycerin for vanilla extract. Maybe that would work for this too.
Is it still alcohol? Can it make you drunk?
Every “extract” is alcohol based. And yes, if you were to drink one in a full glass, it could make you drunk, but you wouldn’t like the taste- I don’t think even alcoholics would like the taste. Many things, even mouthwashes (as well as the most common- vanilla) contain alcohol; it is a natural disinfectant and preservative. Extracts are intended solely as a flavoring, meaning to be used in quantities from a few drops to a teaspoon or so. The alcohol both leaches the flavor from and preserves the herb or fruit it contains, provided that every bit of that herb remains UNDER the surface of the alcohol.
My question exactly… I have plenty of mint and I know I have vodka (i usually use it for disinfecting areas that can’t be washed after a stomach bug), but what do you do with it??? Wouldn’t want to make it without a purpose.
Use it in coffee, hot cocoa, baking (brownies), homemade marshmallows. Anything that you want a mint flavor. I buy peppermint extract in the stores to use for the above things, but making it would be so much better!
You could use it for anything you’d want to add a mint flavoring. Just like vanilla extract, you only use a little.
yes, it’s still alcoholic…as is the vanilla extract you buy at the store, which is made the same way.
Mmmm.. We love mint extract for our coffee and hot cocoa!
Do you think you could use dried (in the dehydrator) mint?
I might have to get some vodka to give this a try before my mint is gone!
I have not tried dried, I am not sure how it would work out. Hmm.
Does the mint need to be dried first or may I use it straight from the garden? I use mint in some Christmas cookies or a special chocolate mint coffee or shake. A few drops in coffee or tea is refreshing. It is still alcohol and could make you drunk but not the tiny amount used for flavoring. Vanilla and most other flavorings are made with alcohol. My mother in law was sober for the last 17 years of her life and used vanilla/peppermint extract in baked goods but never used wine or anything in quantity in her cooking. It just wasn’t worth the risk.
Fresh is great! Probably better than dried.
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