Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is there a botanist in the house?

We've had a couple of helpful comments to the beginning of our Mint Vodka experiment, hoping to identify the type of mint we are infusing. I tasted one of the leaves, and have a feeling that it is indeed spearmint, but I've never tasted raw mint before and could be totally off the mark. It is branded "Kateri's Fresh Mint" if that is any help.

Here are some close-ups of the mint; you can click on them to see high-resolution versions. If any eagle-eyed readers can confirm whether we are using Mentha spicata or some other species, it would be much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

From experience I can tell you that the tastes are pretty different, and if you think you have spearmint, you most likely do. The leaves look right, but on that one I can't be too sure - I'm predisposed to think it's spearmint.

Jennifer T Cross said...

Based on the fact that there's a short little stem coming off of the leaf, and the length of the leaves verses the width, added to the rounded main stem... I'd say you've got peppermint.

Really, the easiest way to tell is to crush one between your fingers, and smell the oil. If it smells kinda like the sort of mint you'd get from a restaurant, you've got peppermint. If it has a sharper, "greener" smell, it's spearmint.

Anonymous said...

Jenni Squirrel sounds smarter than me. Go with what she says! :) Or, you know, whatever you figure out otherwise.

Anonymous said...

And yet, peppermint is harder to find at your local grocery store. The most commonly used mint in cooking is spearmint. My guess is you guys lucked out and got what you thought you were getting.

Hope you make a vodka mint julep with it!