I guess the reason isn’t due to some massive oversight by the bartender, writer or cocktail designer, but rather the supermarkets, health food store or greengrocer as they only seem to stock peppermint or spearmint. Arguably, this is due to demand but, in actuality it is much more likely down to education. If the public were taught more about just how many varieties of mint there are then they would soon be demanding for more variety. It could even be a mint revolution that starts at the local bar, we just need to start tasting more and what better way than with cocktails?
Chocolate mint – Mentha × piperita f. citrata
A mint that actually tastes like chocolate!
- 45ml vodka
- 15ml creme de cacao
- 15ml green creme de menthe
- 1 teaspoon single cream (half and half)
- 2 sprigs fresh chocolate mint
- Chocolate Mint sugar
First make the mint sugar by drying the chocolate mint then, using a coffee grinder or the nut setting on a blend grind the sugar and mint together at a ratio of about 1 sprig per two tablespoons of sugar. Then pour the sugar onto a saucer, wet your glass around the rim and roll in the saucer. Note- you can use cacao sugar syrup or even creme de cacao to wet your glass to add some more flavour.
Next muddle your chocolate mint at the bottom of your shaker then add all the ingredients over three cubes of ice and shake. Strain into your rimmed glass and server with the other sprig of chocolate mint.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Basil Mint – Mentha x piperita f.citrata ‘Basil’
Having experimented with basil replacing mint in Mojito’s I can advise that it works, especially if you use raspberry rum! But for the cooling cut of the mentha, basil mint creates a happy medium between the two.
The Cuban oddball
- 45 ml of raspberry infused rum
- 6 Basil mint leaves and a sprig for garnish
- soda water
- half a lime
- 2 tsps caster sugar
Cut the lime into wedges and place into a highball glass add the sugar and mint and muddle. Throw in some crushed ice and pour over the rum. Top up with soda water and garnish with a sprig of basil mint.
Grapefruit mint – Mentha x piperita f. citrata ‘Grapefruit’
Another mint where a clue to the taste is in the name.
Gin Gin Grapefruit Mule
- 12 Grapefruit mint leaves
- 30ml simple syrup
- 15ml Grapefruit juice
- 45ml Botanist
- 60ml chilled ginger beer
Put your mint into the metal part of a Boston shaker, muddle then add the simple syrup, grapefruit juice and gin along with some ice. Shake then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and top up with ginger beer.
Find out more about the varieties of mint used in the making of The Botanist >>