The Mint Trick

The mint trick that we are about to explore will change your life.
Especially if you are into Juleps, Mojitos or just having pretty things.

This trick will save your mint. Seriously.

For years both at work and at home, mint would wilt and turn mucky brown after just a few hours in a fridge or on a counter top. My mint wastage in the last decade has probably accounted for some kind of landfill ph imbalance in Ontario. Then in 2015, at Tales of The Cocktail, I went to a mint seminar.

For those unaware, Tales of The Cocktail is a huge festival and trade show in New Orleans that happens every year, focusing on beverages, most of which are alcoholic. One of the major draws for TOTC is the variety of in depth and sometimes very specific seminars. Sitting in a room with 150 people, listening to a couple of presenters talk about mint might sound pretty dull to some, but that seminar changed my life and the life of every bartender I share this trick with since.

Other places on the internet call this The Vestinos Method (as Peter Vestinos was one of the presenters at this seminar). This super easy trick will make your bar life so much better.

Step One:
Wash your mint and get rid of any dead leaves or sprigs. Just a quick rinse will do.

Step Two (optional):
Remove the bottom 6 or 8 leaves from your sprig if you want your mint to look like a palm tree. I just leave all of the pretty leaves on the stem. This will make your drink mintier as you sit with it, but that’s okay.

Step Three:
Cut the stems off your mint on an angle. Like a Christmas tree, or a bunch of flowers.

Step Four:
Fill a cambro/winechiller/jar with ice water. The only thing to remember here is that your container needs to be deep enough to cover the entire bunch of mint.

Step Five:
Stick your bunch of mint in the container, leaves down and let it sit for 14 minutes. Other people will tell you between ten and fifteen minutes. I am telling you 14 is perfect. Set a timer on your phone.

Step Six:
Remove mint from ice water and shake some of that water off. Place the bunch of mint stems down in a glass (I like to use a julep cup) of HOT water.

Step Seven:
Marvel at how beautiful that mint looks. It will look that way for up to 5 days in the right conditions. If you are reading this and work in a bar, please don’t leave your mint out on display for 5 days though. The “elements” that float around a room full of people should not be part of your garnish.

I know that it is an overused comedic trope at this point but…


Josh Lindley
Co-Creator at Bartender Atlas
Josh Lindley has been bartending in Toronto since 2007. Before working for Hendrick's Gin as a Brand Ambassador he was bar manager at Campagnolo and a hired gun at Bar Isabel before working at Chantecler, Le Phenix and Eataly. He has contributed to many magazines, tv shows and newspapers with his recipes and opinions. He recently put his diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Humber College to good use through The Blackbird audio documentary. Currently pouring at Civl Liberties and teaching cocktail classes for Evelyn Chick's Love of Cocktails, he enjoys being an ambassador to Toronto and talking about horror movies, punk rock and basketball.
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