Fresh mint growing. Focus on front leaves. Great for mojitos!!!!

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Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the Mint family of plants. And we’re not just talking about the peppermint that goes great in mojitos! The Mint family is characterized by their square stems, and includes plants such as peppermint, spearmint, catnip, lemon balm, and skullcap. While these herbs dry well, they are most stunning when picked fresh. Categorized as aromatics, their crisp, bright volatile oils offer not only a pleasing experience for the senses, but house much of its medicinal value.

My favorite way to enjoy these herbs are as cold-water infusions. While they make great tea, the volatile oils are on full display in a cold infusion, and amazingly refreshing when enjoyed over ice.

Energizing cold infusion

Place a handful of fresh peppermint in a glass jar and pour four cups of cold, filtered water on top. Cover with a lid and shake. Leave at room temperature several hours, or overnight, to steep. Remove leaves, and store water in the refrigerator. Enjoy over ice for a cooling summer drink. Should be consumed within 72 hours.

Calming cold infusion

Place a handful of fresh lemon balm, catnip, or skullcap in a glass jar and pour four cups of cold, filtered water on top. (My favorites are lemon balm on its own, or a combination of catnip and skullcap). Cover with a lid and shake. Leave at room temperature several hours, or overnight, to steep. Remove leaves, and store water in the refrigerator. Enjoy over ice for a cooling summer drink. Should be consumed within 72 hours.

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