Sprig of mint

Five Flavored Mints

Mint (Mentha spp.) is a versatile herb of European origin that has many uses from calming the digestive tract to freshening breath. Itís also a nice addition to fruit salads or mixing with yogurt and honey, and itís an essential ingredient in mint tea (of course!) and popular cocktails like Mint Juleps and Mojitos. [Article continues below]

Flavored mints can be found at gourmet supermarkets and specialty shops or try growing your own in a container pot. It's fairly easy to grow and in fact, can be too easy to grow as it naturalizes quite easily under most growing conditions. This isnít necessarily a bad thing especially if you use it frequently. It can be used fresh, dried, or even frozen.

A perennial with aromatic leaves and square stems, it is a member of the mint family (Labiaeae) and prefers rich soil that is on the moist side and thrives in full sun, but tolerates partial shade. Whether I'm brewing up some mint tea or adding a sprig of mint as a finishing touch to a meal or dessert, here are five of my favorite mint flavors:

1. Chocolate Mint (M. piperata 'Chocolate Mint')
Mint with a suggestion of chocolate, like an after dinner mint--almost.

2. Orange Mint (M. piperata 'Orange Mint')
Add a citrus twang to your mint. Bronzy hue to the leaves.

3. Spearmint (M. spicata 'Spearmint Chewing Gum')
My personal favorite when it comes to mint juleps and mojitos and to eat straight from the garden. Dark green leaves.

4. Apple Mint (M. sauveolens)
Mint with a sweet taste of apple. Large light green leaves. Thereís also a woolly version.

5. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Love the taste of toothpaste? Then peppermint is probably one of your favorites.

Learn more about container gardening or plants for herbal teas

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