Mint syrup is simply a basic sugar syrup (that's sugar melted in a bit of water) that's been infused with fresh mint leaves. It adds a minty flavor to anything you then choose to add it to.
How to Make Mint Syrup
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water just to a boil. Add 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, without stirring if you can resist it, until the syrup is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the syrup to a small metal bowl and let sit until cooled off a bit, about 10 minutes. Use warm now, let it cool to room temperature, or store, covered and chilled, for up to six months.
How to Use Mint Syrup
I will admit, I usually make mint syrup because I'm planning on making Mint Julep Cocktails. It adds an extra layer of mint flavor, plus using a sugar syrup to sweeten this famously boozy concoction instead of plain sugar ensures that all the sweetness doesn't settle to the bottom of the glass, so there's less stirring (work!) for me to do.
I've also been known to use it to make "kids' cocktails" when we have parties—simply add some to taste to sparkling water and garnish with a mint leaf! If I'm feeling extra nice or super fancy, i'll even make Cucumber Mint Soda for the tykes and grown-ups alike.
Mint syrup is also useful for stirring in to sweeten and flavor beverages of all sorts.
It will doll up humble lemonade, perk up herbal tea, and add zing to fruit punches.
Beyond drinks.... drizzle mint syrup over grilled fruit to transform it into more of a dessert-feeling dessert. It's also tasty over ice cream or even a simple piece of not-too-sweet cake.
As you might imagine, mint isn't the only thing you can use to flavor a simple sugar syrup.
I've never regretted keeping Ginger Syrup in the fridge, ready to be stirred into tea. Ditto to keeping Lemon Syrup, the secret ingredient to my amazing lemonade, around the house. (Note that the same method of using some juice and lots of zest for lemon syrup works for making orange, lime, or grapefruit syrup.) This Cranberry Syrup is lovely to have on hand around the holidays, too.