Brighten Up Classic Cocktail Recipes with Fresh Mint
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Mint Condition Cocktail Favorites: Brighten Up Classic Cocktail Recipes with Fresh Mint for a Summer Sensation

Throwing a midsummer’s eve cocktail party or simply serving drinks with dinner? Surprise your guests with these updated versions of favorite cocktails flavored with fresh mint, the “hospitality herb.”

Mint cocktail cover

Fresh mint — and fresh is nonnegotiable in these cocktails; don’t be tempted to use the dried stuff — adds a sweet, lively, aromatic element that brightens and invigorates cocktails. Look for peppermint or its varieties; good choices include chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, and orange mint.


Vanilla Mint Bourbon Iced Green Tea

Mint and vanilla match beautifully, and green tea provides a gentle background for this bourbon cocktail. Try a honey bourbon in this.

Yields: 4 servings


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 4 green teabags
  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  • 8 ounces bourbon
  • Mint sprigs to garnish


In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, and scraped vanilla bean; bring to boil. Remove from heat and add teabags. Let steep for 15 minutes. Remove teabags and add mint leaves; muddle leaves in tea. Pour into a clean glass or plastic container and refrigerate until cold.

To serve: Fill glass with ice; pour 2 ounces of bourbon into glass and top off with minted green tea. Garnish with mint spring, if desired.


Cucumber Mint Gin Fizz

A sassy turn on the classic gin fizz. Cucumbers and mint share a growing season, so take advantage of that and try this unusual and delicious cocktail. Extraordinarily refreshing and perfect for a hot midsummer evening.

Yields: 1 serving


  • 1/2–inch thick slice of cucumber, chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 sprig mint (about 6 leaves)
  • 2 ounces gin
  • Seltzer
  • Fresh mint and cucumber slice to garnish


In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber, lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves. Add ice and gin and shake until very cold. Fill a Collins or rocks glass with ice. Pour gin mixture over ice and top off with seltzer. Garnish with mint and cucumber.


Mint Gin and Tonic

It’s surprising how much the addition of a few fresh mint leaves makes this classic sparkle.

Yields: 1 serving


  • 1 sprig fresh mint (about 6 leaves)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 ounces gin
  • Tonic water
  • Fresh mint sprig to garnish


Muddle mint in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add ice, lime juice, and gin, then top off with tonic water. Stir and garnish.


Watermelon Mint Margarita

This is the margarita you will pine for in the dead of winter; fresh watermelon and mint absolutely explode in this. Superb.

Yields: 2 servings


  • 6-8 leaves fresh mint
  • 2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 3 ounces tequila


Run a lime wedge around the rims of two cocktail glasses and dip in coarse salt, if desired. In blender canister, combine mint leaves, watermelon, lime juice, sugar, and tequila. Process to liquefy.

Carefully fill glasses with ice and pour margaritas over. Garnish with lime wedges if desired.

All photos are courtesy of the author.

Mint Condition Cocktail Favorites: Brighten Up Classic Cocktail Recipes with Fresh Mint for a Summer Sensation

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