Wondering what to do with excessive amounts of mint? Let me show you how to make mint tea concentrate with honey! Learn how to freeze it, so you can whip out delicious honey mint iced tea in the heat of summer, without turning on the stove top!
Every spring, my mint goes crazy. Planted in an isolated bed under my south-facing kitchen windows, it’s one of the first things to appear when the snow disappears. And about a month later, I have a bed of mint that’s bursting at the seams!
Runners try to escape anyway they can, creeping under the rock barrier, popping through any cracks they can find. So I vigorously harvest mint in the spring, just to help keep things under control.
I like to dry mint for winter tea (learn how HERE). My man likes to chop it up and add it to some of his experiments in the kitchen. But there’s a really wonderful way to use up mint and prepare for the hot summer ahead.
When you have too many mint leaves and don’t know what to do, it’s time to make and freeze honey sweetened mint tea concentrate! Here’s how you make it.
Equipment You’ll Need
- A colander
- Scissors (for harvesting mint)
- 8 quart stockpot with a lid
- Measure cup
- Large spoon for stirring
Have you ever made tea from fresh herbs before? That’s essentially all you’ll be doing here. Except that you want to make your mint tea strong. So you’re going to use LOTS of fresh mint.
Helpful Tips for You
While the full recipe and directions can be found below, I want to give you a few tips on making this delicious mint summer drink!
- For the best flavor, harvest mint in the morning before the sun warms your patch and drives natural oils from the leaflets back down into the plant.
- Use a pair of scissors to harvest the top 5-6 inches of the plant where most of the leaves grow, leaving woody (and sometimes bitter) stems in the ground.
- To brew your tea, add fresh mint to your water while it’s still cold.
- Slowly warm the water on the stovetop under medium heat.
- Keep pot covered with a lid to trap evaporating oils and ensure they return to your tea.
- Don’t boil your mint tea; instead bring the water to a near-boiling point before removing from heat.
- To create a strong mint tea, let your concentrate sit for about 10-15 minutes before straining and adding sweetener.
How to Freeze Mint Tea Concentrate
There are two different ways you can freeze mint tea concentrate.
If you plan to create your honey mint iced tea glass by glass, I recommend freezing the concentrate in ice cube trays. Cubes will fit in a glass and you don’t have to worry about crushing or chipping a large, frozen block down to size.
But if you plan to make large batches of mint iced tea, you’ll want to freeze the concentrate in larger containers (it takes a lot of ice cubes to fill a pitcher!). And whatever mold you choose, be sure the cubes it produces will fit in the mouth of your jug, jar or pitcher.
Tools for Freezing Mint Tea Concentrate
Just like water, you can freeze your mint tea concentrate in any type of pliable container. You likely have ice cube trays, tupperware, silicone or even recyclable yogurt containers on hand. These will all do the job beautifully.
But if you want uniform cubes, here are a few silicone trays you can use for freezing concentrate in small, medium and large size cubes.
- go HERE for small silicone ice cube trays
- go HERE for trays with 2×2 inch square cubes
- go HERE for trays that hold 1 C (250 ml) per cube
How to Make Honey Mint Tea from Concentrate
Because your mint tea concentrate is very sweet and very minty, be sure to dilute it before serving! All you have to do is fill your glass, pitcher or jug with frozen cubes, cover with water and wait several minutes for flavors to infuse.
Once your drink has turned a golden color, you’ll have a cold, sweet, minty drink ready to go!
Honey Mint Iced Tea Concentrate
- 30 sprigs fresh mint, 5-6 inches long
- 10 cups filtered water
- 1 cup raw honey (or 1 1/2 cups sugar)
- Harvest fresh mint in the morning, preferably before the sun has time to heat up your mint leaves
- Using scissors, snip off about 30 stalks, 5-6 inches long
- Rinse at kitchen sink to remove all dust and any crawlies that might be hiding under the leaves
- Measure 10 cups of water into a stockpot
- Place freshly-washed mint stalks in the stockpot and cover with a lid
- Set on stovetop under medium heat
- Slowly warm the water, until temperatures are near boiling (turn heat off when you hear pre-boil rumbling or popping sounds from the bottom of the pot)
- Remove from heat before your water boils and leave the pot's lid in place
- Let sit for 10-12 minutes undisturbed
- Using a large metal spoon, lift out soggy mint leaves and compost
- While your tea is still quite warm, measure out honey (or your sweetener of choice) and stir in, making the concentrate sweeter than you would a mint tea drink
- Pour your honey mint tea concentrate into containers and freeze until solid
- Pop frozen mint concentrate blocks out of their forms and freeze in airtight bags or containers
- Label and return to freezer
- To use, combine 1 part mint cube/s with 2 parts water, letting the cube/s mostly dissolve before serving