I grow mint in my garden every summer…well, truth-be-told, mint grows itself in my garden every summer. Mint is like that. Put it in once, and it comes back again and again, so you have to be sure to plant it in a location where it won’t crowd out other plants. So every year I have an abundance of mint, and every year I use it fresh in tabbouleh and sweet tea and mojitos. But when autumn comes I abandon it instead of cutting it and drying it or making mint jelly.
This year I didn’t have a lot of time for canning (well, except for the 30+ quarts of peaches I did back in September…), and I really wanted to do something with all that mint so that I could continue to enjoy it throughout the winter months. And then I had an idea. Why not make a mint syrup that I could add to tea and cocktails to give them an extra kick? I did a bit of research (don’t you just love the internet?), and decided that it would be perfectly safe to essentially make mint jelly, but increase the lime juice (adding more acidity never hurts) and 86 the pectin so that it wouldn’t set, but rather remain a super sweet syrup.
And thus my Mojito Syrup was born. I have been enjoying it in both mint and green tea, and we gave it a test run with some white rum and soda water over Thanksgiving and that was great, too.
6 cups mint tea (4.5 cups firmly packed fresh mint & 6.75 cups water)
8 cups sugar
8 tbsp lime juice
1. Prepare mint tea by washing and chopping the mint and placing it in a saucepan with the water. Bring quickly to a boil, and then remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain and discard mint.
2. Measure 6 cups of the mint tea into a large sauce pot, and add the sugar and the lime juice. Place on high heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a boil that cannot be stirred down. Continue boiling for one minute.
3. Remove from heat and pour the syrup into hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.