Alcohol Culture Grocery

All The Different Creative Ways You Can Cook With Mint

Photo: Saute Magazine

Green and serene, the humble mint leaf is known to refresh minds and bodies in the form of teas and oils. But in its raw state, it’s a culinary jet-setter dazzling foodies the world over atop dishes as diverse as traditional English peas, Thai curries and Cuban mojitos. It grows on nearly every continent and is beloved by holistic doctors and bartenders alike. So put down your peppermint mocha and snip a sprig from your garden, mint is about to get its moment.

Mint plants love the sun, so even though none of the over 600 varieties of what’s more commonly called peppermint is native to California, it grows well here. Like rosemary and sage, it thrives and spreads, thus appearing in backyards where it was never technically planted. Having originated in Asia, perhaps this is why today mint can be found virtually anywhere.

Mint’s unmistakable fragrance, a mix of clean and sweet, led to its popularity in ancient times. Greeks used it to scent cordials and baths, while Egyptians placed mint into tombs as early as 1000 BC. Medicinally, mint is believed to have so many healing properties that a separate article would be required to cover them all.

Websites and social media pages declare that mint may relieve indigestion, boost immunity, treat upper respiratory infections, treat nausea, prevent allergies, and so much more. While none of these cures are scientifically proven, mint does contain vitamin A and C, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

You would need to eat a large amount to get much benefit from it, but as journalist Lewis Waverly Root once pointed out, “It is the destiny of mint to be crushed.”

And it is usually so, but mint’s role in cuisine is becoming more pronounced as the farm-to-table and garden-to-plate movements expand. Old standards, like mint jelly that accompanies roast lamb on Easter for decades, are being reimagined. Fresh mint leaves are turned into pesto, relish and chimichurri for an elegant loin of lamb served in the chicest of restaurants. A handful of mint placed over a grilled branzino or a light pasta makes for an unforgettable meal.

Eat, drink and purchase your mint locally.

And cocktails are not to be forgotten. Mint complements, as well as covers, the flavor of liquor in such famous drinks as the Kentucky Derby staple mint julep and the mojito. It’s no surprise that at bars like the one at Farmhouse inside Rogers Gardens in Newport Beach, mint always makes an appearance on the menu.

Farmhouse currently offers a very seductive cocktail on their seasonal menu, the Natural Aphrodisiac, which contains, among other ingredients, fresh mint. So in addition to the being an herb that’s good for you in general, is it also an aphrodisiac? Is there anything mint doesn’t do?

Anthony Laborin, bartender at Farmhouse and creator of the drink, says it’s the sum of all of the ingredients, not just the mint. He also suspects you’ll have more than one of his concoctions.

“The mint and the Blinking Owl Aquavit work so well together, you’re most likely going to have multiple, thus making you feel a little frisky,” he says. The bar at Farmhouse gets their mint and other herbs from Schaner Farmsin San Diego County, one of the biggest sources for produce at the restaurant.

For those not in the mood (pun intended) or not old enough to enjoy a minty cocktail, there are breath mints, melty mints and peppermint patties. Peppermint oil is also used in the syrup that flavors Starbucks’ addictively-delicious Peppermint Mocha and in Williams Sonoma’s famous Peppermint Bark, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. The retailer of all things culinary has pulled a Willy Wonka and hidden more than 1,500 winning tickets inside their Peppermint Bark tins, including a chance to win a $1,000 Williams Sonoma gift card.

The candies may not contain the health benefits of the raw mint leaf, but winning that gift card would certainly be refreshing.

I need mint! Where can I buy it and what kind should I get?

Most of the more than 600 varieties of mint are not found locally, including the only mint to be patented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Hillary’s Sweet Lemon Mint. Named after Hillary Clinton in 1993 (when she was First Lady), this special herb was carefully created by Jim Westerfield, a plant “hybridizer” in Illinois. It can be found at online nurseries in late spring and summer. A few different mints can be purchased in pots at nurseries or grocery stores.

Four varieties of mint are currently available at Rogers Gardens. Apple Mint, Mint the Best, English Mint and Pineapple Mint. Grown by Gourmet Grown Premiere Color Nursery, $4.99 each.

Related Links:

24 Carrots: An Unforgettable Chef’s Table With Chef Nick Weber

Ways & Means Oyster House Is The Raw Deal 

One World Everybody Eats Receives Humanitarian Of The Year Award

Article by Victoria Kertz for Sauté Magazine. Read the original article here.

Features Health Hit-Or-Miss

Some Raw Foods Can Actually Cure Garlic Breath, So Throw Out Your Gum


There are several things in life that I try to avoid at all costs.

These things include ex-boyfriends, adulthood, responsibilities and any type offood that makes your breath smell like shit.

Yes, I’m looking at you, garlic.

I mean, let’s be real: I think we can all agree having bad breath is not cute, especially when the garlic-induced odor seeping from your mouth is strong enough to repel a small army of vampires.

To make matters even worse, garlic is like the stage-five clinger of foods.

Once you cross paths with these cursed cloves, there’s basically no amount of gum or toothpaste on the face of the planet that can rid your mouth of that lingering stench.

But before you say goodbye to your favorite garlic-filled foods, you’ll be glad to know there might be a way you can stuff your face with garlic bread and not torture the people around you with your offensive breath.

That’s right, researchers at Ohio State University finally found a cure for your unbearable garlic breath.

In the study, the researchers made participants chew three grams of softneck garlic cloves for 25 seconds. Then the subjects were given either water, an apple, lettuce, mint or green tea.

The scientists then looked at the level of volatiles responsible for the foul odor on the subjects’ breath.

Apparently, those who chewed raw mint leaves had the lowest level of volatiles. Therefore, they had the least offensive breath.

Chewing on raw apple or raw lettuce also seemed to lessen the garlic-induced volatiles by more than half, compared to drinking water.

Apple season! 🍎🍏🍎 #autumnishere #fall #apples #thebestseason

A photo posted by Patricia Villamil | D.C. (@mafaldavive) on

Consuming an apple or mint in juiced form and an apple or lettuce in heated form also seemed to result in a lower level of volatiles, but not as much as the same foods in raw form.


A photo posted by Aida Pasic (@aidapasic) on

Green tea, on the other hand, proved to be a pretty useless cure when it came to freshening the subjects’ stinky breath.

But what makes some foods better at masking this offensive odor than others?

Apparently, it all has to do with how foods interact with your gross garlic breath.

Researchers determined that raw foods contain enzymes that eradicate the odor, while the phenolic compounds found in raw and cooked foods wipe out the smelly volatiles.

So, there you have it. Thanks to science, you can now go forth and shamelessly shovel garlicky pasta into your mouth without suffering the smelly consequences.

Just make sure you keep a stash of raw mint leaves on you at all times to chew on afterward.

Written by Kaylin Pound | Elite Daily 

Photo: Nickelodeon 

Packaged Food

This Simple Chewing Gum Commercial Will Bring You To Tears

Extra Commercial 2015

A few days ago, Extra released a short video promoting their chewing gum. Told in a narrative, the video focused on the relationship of two individuals: Sarah and Juan.

In a little less than 2 minutes, the touching gum commercial succeeded into bringing an office full of grown men on the verge of tears. Some of us actually got moist in the eyes.

We won’t give away any more, so check out the video for yourself.


9 Genius Ways to Repel Ants Using Common Ingredients in Your Kitchen


Summer arrived sooner than we expected and while we’re all out there kidding ourselves about getting beach bodies, those curious little critters known as ants have planned their summertime assault. Specifically, they’re targeting our kitchens.

While it’s probably the easy way out, I’d have to say most people wouldn’t want to use bug spray in the middle of their cooking and food storage space. Toxicity aside, it’s just gross. Plus, you’d have to throw out any unsealed foods the ant spray gets on.

Foodbeast dug around and found a few natural food remedies to prevent that dreaded insect epidemic. Since ants are really receptive to smells, there are a number of foods that can naturally repel them. If you can get your hands on a few of these everyday food items, you can easily create an ant-free zone in your kitchen. Just place a few from the list around cracks and holes in your house, and they’ll work as a powerful scent barrier preventing ants from entering.




You can easily get your hands on powdered cinnamon. This spice is an amazing ant repellant that not only blocks ants from your home but can kill them as well. Just don’t be stingy.


Coffee Grounds


Made some extra coffee in the morning? Save those grounds and sprinkle. The nitrogen in the coffee burns ants when they walk across. They’ll definitely try to avoid it if they can help it.


Garlic Cloves


Garlic isn’t only a ward for vampires. It also works for those pesky monsters. Just leave a few cloves of garlic lying around here and there and they’ll do their thing. The only downside is smelling garlic. Which I don’t mind.




Add either black pepper or cayenne to some water and spray over ants. It’s probably the easiest spice to get your hands on. They’ll quickly disappear.


Citrus Peels


When you’re done garnishing your booze, don’t throw out the citrus pieces. Hang onto the citrus peels and throw them into a blender with some hot water and spray onto lines of ants. Should do the trick.




Bundle fresh mint together and place it around your kitchen to keep the ants out. Sidenote: Mint is incredibly easy to grow.


Chili Peppers


Like coffee, ants will not walk through a line of chili pepper flakes. Either buy them dried in bulk and grind them yourselves, your save a few red chili pepper flakes from your next pizza outing and have them handy for ants.




Dried basil leaves sprinkled around the kitchen in cracks and crevices should keep ants at bay. All you have to do is remember to replace them every now and then.




Cucumbers aren’t just for leveling up your water and removing bags from your eyes. Just skin the cucumbers with a peeler and leave them in cracks and openings. Though, like the basil, remember to change them out daily.


Note:  While some of these methods won’t directly kill ants, they will keep them at bay in a safe and natural way that’s chemical-free.

Fast Food

Sonic Offers Chocolate Holiday Mint Shake and Molten Cake Sundae for Christmas

SONIC Shakes


Thanksgiving is next week, which means Christmas is right around the corner. In anticipation of the holiday, Sonic is launching mint-themed items for the Christmas season. Joining the Sonic menu are the Chocolate and Vanilla Holiday Mint Shake, plus the Molten Cake Sundae.

The Chocolate Holiday Mint Shake marries ice cream with crushed mints in a chocolate shake topped with whipped cream, while the Vanilla version swaps the chocolate for vanilla ice cream. The Molten Cake Sundae features a chocolate cake filled with hot fudge and topped with ice cream, crushed holiday mints, whipped cream, mo’ chocolate and a cherry. Those with a sweet tooth could probably tackle these three in a single sitting.

Sonic’s mint desserts will only be around through the month of December.


Here’s How to Make a Boozy Nutella Mint


At Foodbeast, we have a shameless love for Nutella. It’s the sweet, sweet nectar of the gods and if we could, we’d install a fondue waterfall in our office and call it a day. Unfortunately, at the moment, the closest we can get to that fantasy is by turning our favorite childhood treat into a boozy masterpiece.

The inspiration for the Nutella Mint came to me when I saw that my favorite local café, Chapman Coffee House, was serving up “Nutella Lattes.” It swept me off my feet and I immediately set to concocting a liqueur-friendly version. By the end, Amaretto and Frangelico were the perfect compliments to Nutella’s hazelnut flavor and made for a heavenly, iced summer drink.

It’ll have to do ‘til we get that waterfall.


Boozy Nutella Mint


  • 1 tablespoon of Nutella
  • 6 ounces of milk
  • 1.5 ounces of Amaretto
  • 1.5 ounces of Frangelico
  • Mint

Here’s How to Make It

1. Using a butter knife, rim glass with Nutella. Set aside.
2. Pour in Amaretto and place a few mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Muddle mint.
3. Pour in Frangelico, Milk and add Nutella.
4. Shake with ice.
5. Strain into glass.
6. Garnish with mint.
7. Drink!

* If you’re making this in the winter, I suggest leaving out the ice and heating up the milk instead for a warm, cozy take on the recipe.


Dairy Queen Super Stoked About St. Patrick’s Day, Celebrates with 99¢ Blizzards


When I think St. Patrick’s Day, I think leprechauns and pots of gold, not so much Oreos and mint ice cream. But Dairy Queen is doing its best to change my opinion on that by offering a “Buy One, Get One for 99 cents” deal on Blizzards — as long as one of the Blizzards is their St. Patty’s themed Mint Oreo shake.  Two DQ Blizzards for less than five bucks? Looks like mint-flavored Oreos win out over dancing leprechauns this year.

The deal ends March 24th, so don’t miss it!

H/T GrubGrade

Fast Food

Get Lucky With Smashburger’s New Mint Oreo Shake


Smashburger debuts it’s newest frosty treat today — the Mint Oreo shake. Oreo cookies and mint flavors are mixed with hand-spun Häagen-Dazs for a refreshing ice cream blend. Of course, the “better burger” joint suggests pairing it with one of their “premium burgers or chicken sandwiches.” We say, it probably goes well with anything, because, well . . . ice cream.

The Mint Oreo shake will be available until the end of June. With St. Patty’s quickly approaching, the only thing missing is a dash of Irish cream and a generous helping of Jameson. Hey, throw in a leprechaun with a couple of shots, and it’s a party.