Mint is Trendy Again

Mentha spicata 'Blue Eye'
 Mint (Mentha spp.) is reported to be making a huge comeback this year, according to the Specialty Food Association’s 39th Winter Fancy Food Show last month in San Francisco. This old-time favorite herb evokes familiar, comfort-flavors of the American palate. Silk Road Soda, a West Coast premium beverage company introduced a line of mint sodas at the show, including cucumber-mint and pomegranate mint and a line of new mint and licorice almond water and hibiscus-mint frozen pops was introduced, as well.

Bar owners have realized that all ice isn’t the same. Commercial ice, as well as ice out of the ice machines, contains air and minerals. Ice with air melts faster and the minerals change the flavor of the drink. Many high-end establishments now have full-fledged “Ice programs” which produce ice for their cocktails that are better tasting, more attractive and, yes, worthier of premium prices.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, bartenders at Trump International Hotel create house-made cubes formed in pastry molds and blast-frozen and include such items as rose petals with raspberry, elderflower, mint, basil, lemon verbena and others. Their signature drink this year is the Opulence 5, which is a medley of Champagne, artisan vodka, elderflower liqueur served over five different herb-flavored cubes which slowly melt, adding new layers of flavor. It can be added to your tab for a mere $55.
Mint 'Berries and Cream'
So is there anything new with mints? You bet there is! Jim Westerfield, in Illinois, has been crossing and re-crossing mints for years. His mints are on the "hot" list for chefs and bar owners. One of my favorites is his 'Berries and Cream' (Mentha 'Berries and Cream') which has a wonderful fruity flavor with a smooth, creamy background.
Mint 'Fruit Salad'
Another of the Westerfield patented mints is 'Fruit Salad' mint. It is a variety of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and has a unique, very pleasant fruity flavor. You'll also find Margarita mint, with a zippy lime background flavor that is perfect for beverages.

All of the Westefield new patented mints can be found only at Richters Herbs. You can find these amazing trendy new mints on-line and Richters has an exclusive contract for these exciting new mints.

And that mint I posted at the top of the page, Mint 'Blue Eye'? That's one I discovered growing beside a woodland spring near Blue Eye, Missouri, 34 years ago. It's an especially good tasting mint and withstands more frost than most. In the fall, at the first frost, I like walking in the garden and picking the frost-covered leaves of this mint for a cool, minty flavor. 'Blue Eye' mint can be gotten from Mountain Valley Growers where my friend, V. J. Billings is growing my mint for sale.

1 comment:

Merry Rambler said...

Loved your blogs, mint is such a great herb I have quite a few different varieties and I am going to add several new ones this spring one is buddleia mint which has long flower plumes.

I am following your guidance to make another arch for my allotment and a gate
Thank you for your wise clear thinking