Okay, so they’re not exactly mojito machines in the sense of creating a great cocktail from thin air. But they are prolific providers of an essential ingredient in mojitos. What in the world am I talking about? Mint, of course.
Photo by jeepeenyc
The name “mint” is kind of misleading. There isn’t just one mint. There is spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, Egyptian mint, and on and on. The great thing about mint, from a balcony gardeners’ perspective, is that it is best grown in containers. Mint will take over a bed if allowed to grow directly in the ground. But its shallow root system is ideal for being grown in containers.
Mint is super easy to grow from either a transplant or from seed. Here are some great varieties to try:
- Chocolate Mint – The leaves taste like an after dinner Andes chocolate mint. If grown in full sun, the leaves develop a nice chocolate-colored tinge around the edges of the leaves.
- Pineapple Mint – This mint has a faint pineapple flavor to it and pretty green and white variegated leaves. This is the variety to grow if you are gardening in the shade.
- Egyptian Mint – Has a mild mint flavor and large fuzzy leaves.
- Kentucky Colonel – The leaves have a fruity-mint flavor. This guy is the traditional choice for mixed drinks that call for mint.
- Corsican Mint – A small-leaved ground cover mint. This plant would be an interesting replacement for baby’s tears.
- Persian Mint – Probably the most mild flavored mint. This is a great mint to use when you don’t want an overwhelming mint flavor or aroma.
As I mentioned earlier, mint is an important ingredient in mojitos. If you grow a variety of mints, you can try them out and decide which is your favorite in a mojito. Kentucky Colonel is probably the safest choice, but who says that Chocolate Mint wouldn’t work well in a mojito?
- 2 fresh mint sprigs
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 ounces light rum
- Chilled club soda
- In a tall glass with back of a spoon crush mint with sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved and stir in rum. Add ice cubes and top off drink with club soda or seltzer water.
- Stir drink well and garnish with mint leaves.
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