The thermometer outside reads 92 degrees. It is only mid-morning.
When the temperature soars this high, it’s essential to stay hydrated. But after the seventh glass, plain water loses its appeal.
Enter mint. By July, mint is taking over its pot on my brick patio. So I snip a few sprigs and get inspired.
Below are two refreshing recipes featuring mint. Paired with puckery limes or hydrating watermelon, mint tickles the taste buds while offering a refreshing “cool” on a hot summer day.
Best of all, these recipes are simple enough for kid cooks! Invite a child into your kitchen and try one today.
- 3 cups fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 c. agave
- 4 limes
Bring 1 quart of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add mint leaves. Steep for 10 minutes. Juice three of the limes. Slice the fourth lime and reserve.
Remove steeped mint leaves. Add agave and lime juice to the tea. Stir until dissolved. Add an extra quart of water. Chill. Serve over ice, garnished with additional lime slices or fresh fruit.
Watermelon Mint Refresher
- 2 c. watermelon chunks
- juice of half a lime
- 1 t. honey
- 2 T. water
- ice cubes
- 6 fresh mint leaves
Place watermelon, lime juice, honey, water, and six ice cubes into a blender. Process until smooth.
In a tall glass, crush the mint leaves with a spoon to release their fragrance. Fill glass halfway with ice. Pour watermelon purée over the ice and serve.
Just run your fingers across the leaves and inhale! Mint is fresh and invigorating. The presence of menthol in mint sends cooling signals to your brain.
You can buy a fistful of mint at your market or cultivate it yourself. In many growing areas, a pot or garden patch of mint will come back year after year. It can be invasive, so watch where you plant!
Besides the expected spearmint and peppermint, you can also find pineapple mint, chocolate mint, apple mint, ginger mint, and hundreds of other varieties. (I’ve grown several, but prefer a large patch of spearmint plus one specialty flavor.)
Mint likes full sun or partial shade. Mine does well with almost no attention, even through the hottest summer months.
As the branches become woody and set flowers in fall, I trim the last harvest and dry the leaves for hot tea. The plants rest until they reemerge in spring, delighting my taste buds once again.