Recipe Box: One Gallon of Mint Wine

mint wine
Clear and ready to bottle!

Mint, mint, mint.

Once you get a good patch of mint planted, you should quickly have more mint than you can ever figure out how to use! (I cover medicinal properties of mint here)

My peppermint patch does so well that I have more than I need for teas, tinctures, cordials, and even a few batches of mint chutney. Although I chop back the patch twice a year, it grows bigger every season!

Due to this overabundance, I decided to get experimental. What else can I do with mint? What do I do with anything I have too much of?

Make wine out of it.

After debating with myself if it was worth it or not, I just decided to go for it. Let me tell you – I am SO glad that I did!

Mint wine ends up with an amazing, unexpected flavor. It does not taste like mint tea. This batch ended up rather like a sweet chardonnay! The mint appears as an effect more than a flavor. There’s a cooling tingle in the back of the mouth after the sweet wine rolls over it.

So yes, this is definitely going to be something I make again!


Mint Wine

In the recipe below, I used a blend of spearmint and regular peppermint. Use whatever mints you have! I can imagine the lovely twist that could happen if you used chocolate mint, or pineapple mint…

This recipe and procedure assumes that you have the basic equipment and knowledge for how to brew a gallon of wine or mead. Need help? I have a few great reference books on brewing listed here, and a guide to brewing here.

Here’s the basic recipe and technique for one gallon of Mint Wine:

  • 1 gallon of good, clean water (I try to use filtered water instead of tap water)
  • 4 cups of mint leaves (rinsed and removed from the stem)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast (a sweet wine or mead yeast is nice, but even baking yeast works in a pinch!)

How to make Mint Wine: 

1. Boil most of the water in a large pot. While that is happening, sanitize your gallon jug, funnel, strainer, and your airlock and bung. (Don’t know what those are? Click here.)

2. Remove the pot from heat and get ready to add the mint leaves. Crumple the leaves to bruise them and release their essential oils as you add them to the pot. Cover the pot and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.

3. Pour the sugar into the warm mint tea and stir to dissolve.

4. Once the pot is cool enough to handle and the liquid safe to pour, strain the mint tea into the carboy and top it off with the rest of the filtered water to the neck. Add the bung and airlock to the jug. Toss the leaves in your compost bin.

5. When the carboy is cool (a few hours later), sprinkle in the packet of yeast and give it a shake. Within a day or two, the jug should be bubbling happily. It should be happy to sit and bubble for a month or so.

6. When the bubbles stop and the liquid is clear, it is time to bottle!

This golden brew already tasted great at bottling time, and it only became more and more delicious as it aged throughout the year. The longer it ages, the more minty it becomes.

Sláinte!

Here’s another intrepid brewing explorer who tried mint wine! Check out their recipe over at Little Fall Creek.

 


30 Comments

    1. Heh…hydrometer skills are not my forte! I would put this between 6-8 percent, but since I bottle them in beer bottles, it isn’t so intimidating to crack open a bottle to enjoy a glass or two without feeling obliged to finish it all. 🙂 Enjoy!!

    1. Yay, I hope you do try and enjoy the recipe, Jen! Step 4 includes the straining part: “Once the pot is cool enough to handle and the liquid safe to pour, strain the mint tea into the carboy and top it off with the rest of the filtered water to the neck. Add the bung and airlock to the jug. Toss the leaves in your compost bin.”

      I hope that helps!

  1. Do you need to add any Camden tablets to kill any wild yeast prior to adding the yeast? Started making this tonight, but curious about the wild yeast issue if it even is one?

    Secondly, I noticed you put it directly into the carboy, do you need to rack it at all before bottling since there’s not really any sediment?

    1. Hello Nate! Many people use Camden tablets, but I tend not to. I don’t mind wild yeasts, and do a few wild fermented brews like Dandelion Ginger and also Blackberry Mead. I think that’s up to your personal preference on how much you want to control the brew.

      As far as racking goes, I take each bottle on a case by case basis. Some brews are super active and leave a ton of sediment or have a hard time clearing, and I’ll rack those over and let them rest before bottling. Other times, I’ll backsweeten as I rack the mead over, if I think it needs more sweet. This mint brew in particular wasn’t too bad, and so I just bottled straight from the jug! 🙂

    1. For sure, Amanda! The dried leaves of peppermint are even stronger than fresh leaves, as the oils condense as the leaves dry. You might want to use less dried mint than fresh…maybe half the amount to start! Cheers!

  2. I tried your recipe this summer. 5 gallons. I have chocolate mint. Has a great mint taste. Unfortunately the chocolate flavor evaporated during fermentation. My basement smelled like chocolate for a few days. So I threw in some cocoa powder and milk sugar today, and will bottle on christmas eve.

  3. made your mint wine — loved the minty pong to the house hehe
    had a bit of a brain ahh opps put only 2 cups of sugar
    hahaaha silly old begger me should have known the difference
    wine had been going — 2-3 hrs blubbing nicely then shock horror penny dropped — checked me bag of sugar i used and worked out i was 1 cup short– well melt it down in liquid and add no not me!
    out comes the funnel thinking aghh tip it in and shake it a bit
    well ever seen what happens to a bottle of coke with a mint popped in it —
    yup that was me no shaking needed hhaha
    did i get any help cleaning up — nope everyone was in pain from crying with laughter
    a memory no one is going to forget hahah
    btw for a christmas drop that chia wine is lovely

    1. OH NO! *laughs* I’m so sorry to hear that! Lesson learned, eh? Thanks for the giggle and I do hope you try again! I had to paint over a purple spot on my ceiling before I moved out – had a bottle of blackberry that wasn’t quite ready to be opened…and it’s quite a sinus rinse to the unobservant bottle-opener, too. 😀 Cheers!

  4. Hi there, quick question, being I am in a different country, how much or what would be the size of your packet of yeast? I have a massive bush of wild moroccan mint that I need to cut back, this could be the perfect solution.

    thanks in advance.

    1. Standard brew shop yeast packets are about 0.48 ounces. Here’s a link to an example on Amazon, if that helps!
      http://amzn.to/2qWY8tV

      For one gallon batches, I only use half a packet at a time.

      I bet Moroccan mint would make a delicious wine! I cultivated some of that once, but it was too damp and chill here to keep it happy.

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