Special of the day: If Life Gives You Mint…

12 Jun Special of the day: If Life Gives You Mint…

Minted Midori Melonballs

A series of late spring showers propagated the perennial peppermint forest in my yard, and I am now finding myself with an overabundance of the prolific plant. Mint, mint, and more mint!

And while I did originally entertain thoughts of making mint pesto or mint jelly, my thirst got the best of me, and I soon found myself dreaming of cold concoctions made with mint. The only hurdle for me was the messy muddling bit required for most minty cocktails. There just had to be a better way. And then, there was!

Remembering the simple mint syrup my mom makes throughout the summer to flavor her signature sun tea, I thought why not use the same sweetener as a base for refreshing minty cocktails?

Infusing simple syrup with fresh mint leaves and then straining the leaves out eliminates the need for muddling, yielding a yummy mint mixer versatile enough to make into a Minty Mojito, a Mint Julep and a Minted Midori Melonball, too.

Simmer up some simple mint syrup and mix up something cool and refreshing to kick off summer, or as my faithful taste-tester Karen suggested, bottle it up and give it to friends with the recipes!

Join me in raising your glass to summer in this week’s Special of the day: If Life Gives You Mint… with recipes for Simple Mint Syrup, Minted Midori Melonballs, Mint Mojitos and Mint Juleps. Cheers!

Recipe development and food photography by Sydne George.

Simple Mint Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, packed

Bring water and sugar to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Add mint leaves. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain. (Can be doubled, made ahead, covered and refrigerated.)

Minted Midori Melonballs

Minted Midori Melonballs

1 cup mint syrup

2 cups ice

½ cup Midori melon liqueur

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until ice is crushed.

Pour in margarita glasses. Garnish with melon ball skewers and fresh mint sprigs. Enjoy!

Minty Mojito

Minty Mojitos

For each mojito:

Fill glass 2/3 full with ice.


2 tbsp. mint syrup

2 ounces Captain Morgan spiced rum

½ cup soda water

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

Stir. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Mint Juleps

Mint Juleps

2 cups ice

1 cup mint syrup

½ cup bourbon

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until ice is crushed. Pour mint juleps into small tumblers.

Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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