This recipe is a very simple one, born out of the fact that my husband really, really loves mint. I thought it would be nice to make a fresh, minty drink for these hot days. Though, having made it, I can’t help thinking that it would be gorgeous added to a rich hot chocolate drink, too. Or drizzled over berries and ice-cream, for that matter. Or frozen and churned into sorbet.
Or just eaten with a spoon. Why bother freezing it first?
Your Shopping List (makes about 2 1/2 cups)35 g fresh mint leaves – this would be the leaves from one nice bunch of mint, or from two dodgy bunches of mint, which is what I had. 1 1/2 cups white sugar 2 cups water
Now what will you do with it?
Strip the mint leaves from their stems, and wash them. Put them into a smallish saucepan.
Add the sugar and water, and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves.
Bring to a rolling boil, decrease the heat, then simmer gently for five minutes. Switch off heat, and leave to infuse while the syrup cools. The whole kitchen will smell of fresh mint, and it will be *wonderful*.
Strain your syrup into a jar, bowl or jug, but make sure it can actually fit 3 cups of syrup, unless you like a syrupy benchtop (I don’t, but I have one anyway).
Chill in fridge. To serve, add a two Australian tablespoons of this to cold water for a cool, slightly sweet, mint-infused drink. Delicious. Or mix it with watermelon juice, because minted watermelon juice would be just amazing.
Or, as I said, you could eat it from the bowl with a spoon. I won’t judge you.
Really, why mess with perfection?
Oh, alright. You could make this syrup with lemon balm or pineapple sage or basil or any other soft herb that gets added towards the end of cooking. You could also make it with strongly-flavoured, woody herbs like rosemary or lavender, but I’d use quite a bit less – maybe a couple of small sprigs – as the flavour could get quite overpowering.
All of these would make lovely cordials or sorbets, though for a sorbet, you should use at least equal amounts of water and sugar – some recipes call for 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. The method is the same, you just chill the syrup until it’s very cold, and then freeze in an ice-cream maker.
This time last year…
Recipe: Decadent Eggless Strawberry Mousse Tart