We have a mint plant growing in a pot and it is, of course, highly successful. Mint is perhaps the easiest plant to grow and is a wonderful addition to many recipes – this mint lemonade included. Sweetened with honey, it’s essentially very sweet mint tea that is then mixed with lemon juice and (sparkling) water.
Adding mint to your lemonade makes it even more refreshing, with a pleasant cooling effect. Keep the syrup base in the refrigerator and use it as needed if you plan on having individual glasses rather than filling a pitcher.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Mint: pictured is peppermint, but any mint you’d like could be used. Spearmint in particular will be a milder, sweeter flavour. Wild mint can of course also be used.
- Honey: substitute sugar if preferred (use 100 grams, or 1/2 cup).
- Lemons: fresh lemons will make a much better lemonade, but lemon juice can be used in a pinch.
Step by Step
Step 1: add the mint and honey to a heat-proof container.
Step 2: pour the hot water over the mint and stir to dissolve the honey. Let this mixture cool fully.
Step 3: once the mint has steeped, strain through a fine sieve.
Step 4: stir in the lemon juice to form the syrup base. Top with still or sparkling water to serve.
I rarely have a reason to make a whole pitcher of lemonade, and much more often add a splash of the lemonade base to a glass and top with water. The base is kept in the refrigerator (see below) and this makes for an easy way to have a glass of lemonade when you’d like it.
A light-coloured honey, like clover, is nicest here. A very strong forest honey can be good but will impart a strong flavour note into the lemonade, so be conscious of it.
How to Store
Storage: keep the syrup base in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week, perhaps longer. Store mixed lemonade, covered, for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Freezing: transfer the syrup to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays and added to water that way.
- Sweeten to taste: this doesn’t make a particularly sweet lemonade, but it’s easy to adjust the level of sweetness – simply add more or less water when mixing the drink.
- Squeeze the leaves: make sure you squeeze the mint leaves when straining, as they will be holding onto a lot of the syrup. Pressing them doesn’t work as well – use your hand.
- Use cold water: very cold water from the tap, or water that’s been refrigerated, is best for topping up the lemonade. That way your ice won’t melt as quickly.
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Fresh Mint Lemonade
- 20 grams fresh mint leaves
- 80 grams honey
- 150 ml boiling or very hot water
- 2 large lemons, juice only 6-7 tablespoons
- 1 litre still or sparkling water for topping
- Add the mint and honey to a heat-safe container, like a canning jar.20 grams fresh mint leaves, 80 grams honey
- Pour the hot water over the mint, then stir to fully dissolve the honey. Set aside to cool completely, about an hour in a cool place. Some time is needed for the mint to steep, so even if you can cool it more rapidly, leave it for at least half an hour before straining.150 ml boiling or very hot water
- Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Squeeze out the mint leaves to release any liquid. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. This is the syrup base.2 large lemons, juice only
- The syrup can be refrigerated in a sealed container at this point and used as you'd like. To serve in a pitcher, add the syrup to a large pitcher or bottle and top with the remaining water (add more or less water* to your taste, this will adjust the sweetness). Serve with ice, lemon slices, and mint sprigs or leaves.1 litre still or sparkling water
- For individual glasses, use syrup to your taste and top with water. I use about two tablespoons of syrup for a glass but that is not very sweet.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.