Oddly enough “mint milk” is one of the search terms that brings the most people to my blog. I once wrote about St. Patrick’s Day and the mint milk found in my area during late winter. Something about the creamy mint flavor really hooked me (and my youngest, who still asks for “green milk”).
Since the need is there, I will definitely answer the call and try my hand at mint milk! Before I continue, please remember I do not write a cooking blog (though I do quite a bit of from scratch, whole food cooking). This simple recipe turned out delicious and R was thrilled to finally have green milk after months of it’s absence. I made two versions, one with extract and one using mint from my garden. Both were delicious.
Basically, I made a minty simple syrup. Yes, the same kind of syrup used in alcoholic beverages makes the perfect sweetener for milk. Think about the difference between Quik and Hershey’s Syrup…which dissolves better? There you go, simple syrup is best for sweetening beverages.
Sugar, water, and extract or mint leaves are the basic ingredients. Food coloring is optional.
After gathering your ingredients, bring your water to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in sugar and extract until dissolved. If you choose too, add food coloring. Hopefully you will have green food coloring in your home. I do not. My girls are inordinately fond of coloring the water in their bathtub green. Fortunately, I passed grade school Art and I know blue and yellow make green.
After the syrup cools, pour it into a jar or container for storing. As avid readers of this little blog know, I love jars and use them for just about everything. To make mint milk, add 2-3 teaspoons of syrup to one cup cold milk. Stir. If you are 2 years-old and upset at the lack of green in your milk, add more food coloring.
To make the syrup using leaves instead of extract, bring your water to a boil, add washed leaves and cover. Let leaves steep and strain. The leaves left a nice green color and subtle flavor, though I could have steeped it longer for a more intense flavor.
As an aside, you could use this same method to make a ginger, basil, cinnamon, vanilla or any flavor syrup.
Mint Simple Syrup (extract method)
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure mint extract
green food coloring (optional)
1. In a small saucepan, bring water to boil.
2. Remove from heat and add sugar and extract, stirring until dissolved. Add food coloring, if using.
3. When cool, pour syrup into jar and store in fridge for up to 1 month.
4. Add 2-3 teaspoons to cold milk or use in place of plain simple syrup in various beverages (it would be delicious as a lemonade or seltzer sweetener).
Yields 1 cup syrup.
Mint Simple Syrup (leaf method)
1 cup water
1/2 cup washed mint leaves
1 cup sugar
1. In a small saucepan with a lid, bring water to boil.
2. Stir in leaves, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on desired strength.
3. Strain water, discarding leaves. Return water to pan and bring to boil a second time.
4. Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring until dissolved.
5. When cool, pour into container and store in refrigerator for up to one month.
6. Add 2-3 teaspoons to 1 cup cold milk or use to sweeten other beverages.