Potted and placed around garden walkways, my herbs are strategically put within arms reach so I can brush up against the leaves to fragrance my hands as I walk by.
I find myself with a bounty of mint right now…you too? Here are some of my favorite ways to use mint.
Herbal Ice Cubes
Freeze a bunch of ice cubes for an easy-peasy refreshing addition to a water bottle, lemonade or tea. Wash and clean fresh mint leaves (spearmint is a bit sweeter flavor than common peppermint). Add a leaf or two or approx. 1 teaspoon of herb to each ice-cube section of an ice cube tray. Cover with cold water and freeze solid. Pop out cubes and store in freezer bags.
Sunny Tea Blend
Use your favorite black or green tea bags. Place 6 to 8 tea bags in a gallon jar of cold water. Throw in a generous handful of clean, fresh mint leaves and press into the water with a wooden spoon to help crush and release the minty flavoring. Allow steeping in the sun until the mix is dark (about 3 to 5 hours) Remove the tea bags and herbs before serving. Serve with herbal ice cubes.
Do you need a moment? Take time and relax your bare feet in a no-mix-easy foot spa. Pick a bouquet of mint, shake off any bugs or dust. In a tub (about the size of a dish washing tub, enough room for both feet to soak in), place the bouquet in warm water. Submerge your feet completely in the water. Relax for at least 15 minutes. The fresh mint will stimulate blood flow to the surface of your skin and renew tired, achy feet.
Wake up Whiff
Ever have that afternoon slump or a moment of fog and you just can’t concentrate? Wake up your brain with this shot of aromatherapy! Rub both hands over a mint plant until you can smell it releasing its essential oils. Immediately cup both hands over your nose and mouth and inhale until your lungs are full. Exhale slowly and repeat. The minty essence works its magic to stimulate your brain and clear away the afternoon brain fog.
Cut fresh stems of mint and gather in a bundle with a rubber band. Hang the bundle in the shower. As the water heats up the steam if filled with the stimulating fresh fragrance of the fresh herbs.
Misty Mint Infusion
Infuse fresh mint leaves in water and use as air freshener! In a glass saucepan, boil 4 ounces of purified water. Remove pan from the heat. When the water stops boiling and cools slightly, add a generous handful of fresh mint leaves. Allow to cool, strain out the leaves through cheesecloth and pour mint water into a glass mister spray bottle. As an option to enhance it further, add 5 drops of pure peppermint essential oil. Shake well before use. Spray as an air freshener in musty rooms and to fragrance newly changed bed linens.
Vinegar Hair Rinse
Place a generous hand (an overflowing 1 cup measure) full of freshly washed mint in a quart glass jar. Pour cider vinegar until the leaves are covered (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups), seal jar with lid. Allow the mint leaves to permeate and steep in the vinegar for up to two weeks. You’ll know it’s ready when the minty aroma is overpowering the vinegar. To use: dilute up to 4 tablespoons of the vinegar mint blend in 1 cup of water. Add this mix to a squirt bottle. Wash hair as you usually do, rinse well. Saturate hair with vinegar mint mix. Allow your scalp to feel refreshed and tingly for a few minutes, then rinse well. Ahhhh!
Homemade Crème De Menthe
Mint Juleps are not just for derby day.