Mint extract is one of the most versatile ingredients for baking, cooking, and creating drinks. It can add a refreshing hint of mint to your favorite desserts, beverages, and dishes. In this guide, you’ll learn how to use, store and make your own homemade mint extract.
What is Mint Extract and How Do You Use It?
Mint extract is an ingredient made from part of the mint family, such as spearmint. It has a slightly sweet, cool flavor that can be used in many different types of recipes. From baking to beverages and savory dishes, mint extract can help you create delicious recipes with its unique taste Profile. You’ll find that it’s best to use a small amount of mint extract to add a hint of flavor without overpowering other ingredients in your dish.
Different Types of Mint Extracts and Their Purposes
There are actually several different types of mint extract. Peppermint extract is perhaps the most commonly used, and it has a strong, sharp flavor that works great for baking as well as savory dishes like sauces and marinades. Spearmint extract is more subtle in taste and pairs well with fruit flavors like strawberry or raspberry. Then there’s orange mint extract which is a bit more complicated in flavor than the other two. Finally, you can find wintergreen mint extract which boasts an incredibly strong flavor best used sparingly in certain recipes like chocolate desserts.
Tips for Storing Mint Extract
Mint extract should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. Keep the bottle tightly sealed to prevent the flavor from evaporating. The best way to store an opened bottle is to pour out any excess extract into a smaller airtight container, label the container with the date and contents, and store it in the refrigerator. This will help keep your mint extract from going bad for at least six months after first use.
How to Make Your Own Quality Mint Extract at Home
Making your own mint extract is easy, quick and can provide you with a high-quality product. To make your own at home, start by washing and drying fresh organic mint leaves. Place the leaves in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Measure two cups of the chopped mint, pour into a blender, add two cups of 80 proof vodka or gin and blend for 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into an airtight glass container, label with the date and contents and store in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks before using.
Creative Uses for Peppermint Extracts in the Kitchen
If you’re looking for ways to spice up the flavors in your dishes, mint extract is a great choice! This versatile ingredient can be added to both sweet and savory dishes. You can add it to smoothies or milkshakes for a refreshing flavor, or use it in marinades and salad dressings for some extra zest. It can also be used to make cold desserts like ice cream and treats like cakes and meringues. If you want to bring out the natural sweetness of fruits like apples and oranges, add some mint extract!