DIY Mint Extract

Last spring I bought a few tiny mint plants and put them on the edge of a raised bed in my vegetable garden. I heard that mint grows easily...aka is very invasive and aggressively takes over everything. In the fall it was out of control and I pulled it all up. Or so I thought. It came back- this time growing between the bricks in the pathway. That's ok, I thought. It smells nice when I step on it, and it isn't taking up any garden space. Wrong. It has sent its runners into every adjacent garden and is now impossible to get rid of. So this morning I pulled a bunch up (1 lb. to be exact- yes, a full pound of mint, and that doesn't even put a dent in it) and decided to make something useful out of it.

Mint extract!

The process is very simple. 

1. Pull up the overwhelming amounts of mint taking over your yard.

2. Pull off all of the leaves that don't have brown spots or edges.

3. Wash the leaves and dry them using a salad spinner.

4. Put the leaves into a glass jar and crush the leaves to release their minty goodness. I used a butter knife to pierce and crush them.

5. Pour Vodka over the leaves until they are covered.  Seal the jar, give it a good shake, and place it in a cool dark place for six weeks (remembering to shake it every now and then).

6. Strain the leaves out of the mixture and use as you would mint extract bought from the store!

I am looking forward to mint shakes, ice cream, and cookies! But mostly, I am looking forward to reclaiming my garden from the encroaching mint takeover...