There is a mint explosion in my back flower bed. This really isn’t a surprise. Most gardeners will think I’m crazy. Most gardeners I know only recommend mint for container gardening because mint is SO invasive! But, that is exactly why I did it.
You see, I had an empty flower bed around the base of our patio. When we bought our house a few years ago I didn’t have time to tend to flowers and wanted something easy to fill the emptiness. I thought something low-maintenance and edible might be fun. As I patrolled the local garden center I wondered: How about mint? I found a couple of happy little apple mint and orange mint plants and off I went.
While both varieties have taken off in their new home, the orange mint is decidedly more aggressive. In all honesty, I love that it’s taking over. The smell is delightful and because there is so much of it, most of it goes to flower, which the bees seems to love. This year I may even add a third variety for a small section not yet overtaken by the other two.
Well, this year the mint explosion seems to have happened earlier than I remember in the past. I suppose it has something to do with the warm winter and crazy warm days in March and April. Whatever the reason, I’m taking advantage of it. Right now I’m on a mint cocktail kick. This weekend I think I stumbled upon a winner.
- 3 ounces Amaretto
- 1/4 of a fresh lime
- 4-5 mint leaves
- Club soda
- Juice the quarter of the lime into a large shaker and drop in the wedge.
- Add the mint leaves and mull.
- Pour in the Amaretto, a few pieces of ice and shake.
- Strain over ice in a tall cocktail glass.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish with a slice of lime and/or a sprig of fresh mint.
Mint and Amaretto are made for each other. I don’t know why I never thought before to add mint to this light, refreshing cocktail. Now, I think it’ll be a regular occurrence.
This year I want to enjoy more of my mint garden. I’m trying to work it into everything and I am looking for suggestions. Do you grow mint? What are your favorite ways to make the most of it?