Homemade mint extract is easy to make and a great and cost effective alternative to buying the over priced little bottles. Mint extract is great to keep around the house or to give out as a thoughtful holiday gift.
Mint is one of my favorite flavors, especially when combined with chocolate. I honestly can’t think of any flavor I like better than chocolate mint!
In Israel mint is common but as an herb not a flavor.
As the weather turns cold, I can’t help craving the familiar tastes as much as the snow I left behind in New York.
Using fresh mint to make mint tea leaves or mint tea is great, but where are the mint brownies and mint hot chocolate?
I long for mint chocolate chip cookies and Girl Scout thin mints.
To make these wonderful treats you need one key ingredient: mint extract.
Mint extract, like vanilla extract, is expensive but ridiculously easy to make at home and for a fraction of the price.
Homemade mint extract is also great to give out as holiday gifts!
Make a few batches and divide into smaller bottles, or get with the holiday spirit and generously give a batch to each person.
I don’t know about you, but my favorite gifts to both give and receive are usually of the homemade variety.
It feels much more personal that way, and no one has to know just how easy it was to make right?
Not to mention it cuts down on the holiday shopping!
WHAT IS MINT EXACTLY?
Mint is a family of many plants that includes much more than just what we call mint teas. In fact, the whole mint family includes over 7000 plants.
Peppermint and spearmint, two of the most popular mint teas, both belong to mentha genus, and both contain menthol which gives that cool feeling.
However, some other herbs, such as sage or lemon balm, also belong to the mint family but don’t contain menthol.
Mentha genus contains 25 different plants, all of them with a specific minty scent and flavor.
The most popular ones, peppermint and spearmint, are widely used for making tea.
However, others like filed mint or water mint may also be included in different mint blends.
TYPES OF MINT USE
Peppermint is ideal to use for making mint extract.
It is a crossbreed of spearmint and water mint and peppermint oil may contain anywhere between 33-60% of menthol.
Menthol is the thing that gives the nice cool flavor mint is most known for.
Garden Mint Tips
If you are using mint from a garden check well for cocoons. I often find them.
Wash well and remove leaves from stem.
Mint Extract Tip:
While the vodka by no means has to be great quality, it ideally shouldn’t be bad quality.
Like wine you cook with, it should be a decent quality you would drinking.
This rule applies to vanilla extract as well.