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Mint Juleps

Learn how to grow your own mint at home without it taking over the yard so you can make some Mint Juleps for the family – with and without alcohol.

One of the great plants I picked up at The Home Depot was a Spearmint Plant.

This week, I want to talk about the wonderful Mint plant… or should I saw Mint WEED!

Yep, the fragrant and multitasking Mint is a weed. Please be careful of planting it in the ground in your garden.

It will take over!

It will not die.

It will return year after year.

 
mint, organic, gardening, fresh, ingredients,
 

There are many plants in the Mint Family (Lamiaceae) and not all of them are perennials not all of them are invasive. I’m strictly talking about Mint.

Listen to me… When planting a mint, first plant it in a container. Then place it about an inch or two into the ground. This will keep the roots from shooting off and growing new plants five feet away.

This is an existing Pineapple Mint that I have had for at least 5 years. See the roots? They are all bound up in the pot. Know where they’re not? In my flower bed!

mint, organic, gardening, fresh, ingredients,

I’ve cleaned his roots and gave it a new home in a new pot filled with Miracle-Gro Organic Choice potting soil. In a few weeks, there will be new growth and it’ll be ready to use in some refreshing drinks.

This is actually Spearmint that I got from The Home Depot. I’m using it in today’s recipes below. I’ve put this plant into a pot with the organic soil and he’s going out into the garden to soak up some sun and make a new home for himself. 

 

mint, organic, gardening, fresh, ingredients,
 

See those little shoots? At each leaf, the plant can also put down roots and grow a new plant. Keep those shoots to a minimum. Prune them back and keep them out of your garden. If they happen to root, pull it up when you notice and throw it in the TRASH. Do not put it into your compost pile.

I picked this Spearmint plant out because it’s so versatile. I can make a simple syrup with it for drinks and desserts. Or make a salad dressing with it. Or pair it up with a spicy pepper dish to cool the flavor a bit. There are so many recipes for it. I’ve even put it into sugar to make special Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies! Oh, so good!

The Home Depot had many Mint plants by Bonnie Plants to pick from. Pineapple Mint, Chocolate Mint, Orange Mint, Peppermint and Spearmint to name a few. They had small 3 inch peat pots and larger 6 inch pots to fit your garden and your budget. Check back often because their supply is constantly changing.

Remember, the plants you buy from the store are not Organic and have most likely been treated at some time. The Home Depot Beginners Mix contains Mint and Basil, so you can also make my last recipe.

If you are not sure what Herbs to buy for your Organic Garden, ask an associate. The people in the Purple Shirts are there to help out with all your gardening needs and questions.

In Celebration of the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I’ve taken my mint and made two versions of a Mint Julep. A Traditional recipe and an alcohol free version that I really enjoyed!

Mint Julep
by Pint Sized Baker
Prep Time: 5
 
mint, organic, gardening, fresh, ingredients, Ingredients
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 4 oz. Bourbon
  • 6 – 8 Sprigs of Mint
Instructions
Mix sugar and water and muddle with mint (reserving one sprig) until sugar is dissolved and mint fragrance is released. Leave for a few minutes then transfer to a Collins Glass or a more traditional Silver Cup. Add crushed ice to the glass, and stir in the bourbon. Top with more ice and the reserved mint sprig.
 
 
Mint Julep Mocktail
by Pint Sized Baker
Keywords: beverage Derby Day
mint, organic, gardening, fresh, ingredients,

Ingredients

  • 1 Quart Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer
  • 1 C Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Water
  • crushed ice
  • 10 Mint Springs
Instructions
Rinse mint leaves and remove any thick stems. Set aside. Put ginger ale in refrigerator to chill.
Mix lemon juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill.
Pour chilled lemon juice mixture over mint leaves and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.
In a large pitcher mix lemon juice-mint mixture, ginger ale, and ice. Stir vigorously until pitcher is frosted and serve.
 
 
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