Manor Farm Herbs
Manor Farm
Oxfordshire OX27 8DP

Ginger mint

Mentha x gracilis 'Variegata'

30 - 35 cm (12 - 14 in)
Suitable for:
Moist soil in sun or part shade. Pots and containers.
Ginger mint: Mentha x gracilis 'Variegata'

Ginger mint is a really pretty mint for your garden, it is quite low growing, only reaching 30 to 35 cm at the most. It is sometimes known as scotch mint or slender mint and is a result of a cross between spearmint and corn mint. The foliage is a vivid green and liberally splashed with gold, most especially in the spring and on the new growth. It has aromatic fruit scented leaves with a hint of spicy ginger.

Like most mints it can be invasive although we have found it slightly less so than some other mints, possibly the variegation in some way affects the vigour of growth. Even so if you want to keep it in one place it is a good subject to plant in a large deep container, where it will thrive in sun or partial shade.

This fruity flavoured mint makes an exciting addition to both sweet and savoury dishes and to drinks. When harvesting pick the tips and top young leaves to encourage fresh new shoots from the base. As the stems become older and woody in summer, remove them completely to stimulate new growth.

Finely chopped ginger mint makes a tangy addition to tomato salad, and also goes well in fruit salads and has a particular affinity with melon.

Ginger mint is a stimulant herb and aids digestion and as such makes a lovely herb tea and the leaves can be added to many drinks and cocktails, giving a spicy fruity flavour and a really attractive gold splashed garnish.

Ginger Mint Lemonade

  • 120 ml chopped ginger mint leaves - tightly packed in the measuring jug
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh ginger
  • 75 ml honey
  • 2 - 3 lemons - depending on size
  • 450 ml boiling water
  • ice cubes, mint leaves and lemon slices as garnish

Place the mint, ginger and honey in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Remove the zest from two of the lemons and add to the bowl. Cover and leave for 30 minutes to extract the flavours.

Strain into a 1 litre measuring jug, press the contents of the sieve with the back of a spoon to extract all of the flavour. Add 75 ml of lemon juice and make up to 900 ml with cold water.

Chill, garnish and serve!

Ginger Mint Mojito

  • 5 or 6 ginger mint sprigs
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • ice cubes
  • 1 or 2 measures of rum — to taste!
  • ginger ale
  • ginger mint sprigs and slices of fresh ginger for garnish

Strip the mint leaves from the stalks and put into the bottom of a tall glass. Add the lime juice and muddle the ingredients together with a blunt utensil. I use the fat rounded plastic end of one of our forks, this releases the mint juices into the mix with the lime juice. Half fill the glass with ice cubes, pour over the rum and top up with ginger ale.

A quick stir, garnish with a ginger mint sprig and fresh ginger, and serve!

For an extra ginger kick, pound a thin slice of ginger along with the mint in your glass.