Mint Washing: All About This New Mixology Technique; Read Here
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Like every innovation in cocktail-making, the technique of mint-washing spirits arose out of sheer necessity. When bars in Copenhagen were flooded with orders, especially for a mojito, it is said that bar owner Peter Altenburg came up with this method where he created his version of the cocktail using the technique. Creating a spin-off of the popular cocktail – known as the sea, which had a silky-smooth texture and echoed the same kind of flavours. What this technique does, is allow bartenders and mixologists to also prepare cocktails in large batches, with less service time and increased consistency.

Surprisingly enough, as complicated as this technique may seem, it is rather easy to mint-mash spirits of your choice at home using a few key tips. These infusions can also allow one to experience the spirit in its natural form, over a few cubes of ice, while also reducing the amount of waste that might possibly be generated as a result of using ‘fresh’ ingredients. Using a couple of different approaches to mint-washing liquors, here’s something you can attempt to replicate at home.

Infusion 1

Mint-Washed Rum: Since mint oils easily give out an imposing odour, spirits should be added to the herb immediately after the oils have been extracted. In this first type of infusion, oleo saccharum – a sweetener made with superfine sugar, mint stems and mint leaves muddled together and refrigerated overnight. Following this, a rum wash is carried out, where un-aged rum is added to the mixture and placed in the freezer for a day. The frigidity of this mix ensures that the strong base of minty rum is secured without any of the heavy, pungent lingering notes.

Infusion 2 

The second kind of mint infusion uses vermouth to extract lighter, more subtle flavours by blending a Spanish vermouth blanco and fresh mint leaves together. Once the mixture sits for an hour in the fridge, it is strained both times using a coffee filter. The resulting concoction is a clear spirit with a slight green tinge. Both the infusions provide the very essence of the herb’s essence containing nuances of its leaves and stems.

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In an ode to the first ever use of mint-washing to shake up a cocktail, here’s a recipe to make a batch of & The Sea while entertaining at home:


  • 500 ml mint-washed rum
  • 300 ml mint-infused vermouth
  • 100 ml elderflower syrup

  • Sparkling water, to top

  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish


  • Combine the mint-washed rum, vermouth and elderflower syrup in a container and refrigerate the mixture until ready to serve.
  • In a highball glass, add lots of ice and around 150 ml of the refrigerated mixture before topping it with sparkling water.
  • Whack a small sprig of mint in your hand and then garnish the drink with it.