Which mint should I grow for Mojitos?
June 4, 2007 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Which mint should I grow for Mojitos?

When we were in Cuba we drank huge quantities of Mojitos and I'm craving them again now the sun has come out. But we can't get the taste right. I'm in the process of tracking down some sugar cane juice but I want to get the mint right too.

According to the barmen in Cuba (and several books I've read since) the mint they use in the Mojito is unique to Cuba, but no-one seems to know what species it's supposed to be.

[ Before we start, lets get this out of the way first - the answer to this question isn't the internet favourite of "spearmint". Spearmint comes (originally) from Europe and the smell makes me want to hurl. ]

What species could it be, and would it be possible to get it in the UK?

My memory is of a type with a bloody red stem, but that may be the result of alcohol and too much sun. :)
posted by twine42 to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hierba Buena or Peppermint.
posted by JJ86 at 8:23 AM on June 4, 2007

Perhaps you're thinking of Yerba Buena
posted by TryTheTilapia at 8:25 AM on June 4, 2007

Best answer: That is, Yerba Buena
posted by TryTheTilapia at 8:27 AM on June 4, 2007

Don't use spearamint as I did once! The drink tasted like cough medicine.
posted by LarryC at 8:43 AM on June 4, 2007

Response by poster: TryTheTilapia : sorry - you must have posted this to the blue as I wrote this on the green. Have a tick. :)

Looking at your link, I think Yerba Buena might be a bit of a catch-all as the MOjito mint and "apple mint" are very different animals. It refers to "Mentha nemorosa" which I think is probably the actual plant, but the intarwebs seem to know surprisingly little about it. It's a bloody good starting point though!

Ta muchly.
posted by twine42 at 9:05 AM on June 4, 2007

Twine, if you search on "Wooly Mint" or some of the other names that the cuban variety of Mint is called, you get a lot more results.
posted by SpecialK at 9:21 AM on June 4, 2007

No problem, twine42. I hope you find what you're looking for.

Anecdotally, we use regular spearmint for mojitos and really enjoy the flavor - we like to grow our own on the fire escape. :-) Oh, and Ten Cane rum is delicious, so that probably doesn't hurt.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 9:33 AM on June 4, 2007

perhaps a "wanted" post to the craigslist pages for miami or new york? Those cities have large cuban populations, maybe they could help?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 10:01 AM on June 4, 2007

Best answer: I bought Mojito Mint from Richter's Herbs a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure if they'll send a plug of it to the UK, however, once it flowers I could try mailing you a small packet of seeds.
posted by KathyK at 10:25 AM on June 4, 2007

Best answer: Whatever variety you decide to plant, GROW IT IN A POT. Mint spreads like kudzu, and before you know it, it'll take over your yard.

Don't put it in the ground. You'll be sorry.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:37 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I agree with Mudpuppie. We have a peppermint bush, that if not contained by concrete would be incredible. I can usually cut it down to the ground and have it grow back to waste high about 3 or 4 times a summer.
posted by trbrts at 12:30 PM on June 4, 2007

Best answer: Richters, an herb house in Canada, claims to have imported the Cuban mojito mint:
posted by lleachie at 12:52 PM on June 4, 2007

I agree with putting it in a pot too, though in the ground.

I had chocolate mint in a planter pot last summer and cut it down before winter and left it outside. I didn't protect it from the elements and I think it froze and died because it didn't come back this year. This year I'll be planting the mojito mint in a 2-gallon plastic pot lined with weed barrier and putting the pot and all into the ground. Hopefully it will overwinter better this year and come back next summer. Since it will be in a plastic pot it won't be able to spread.
posted by KathyK at 12:57 PM on June 4, 2007

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