Arbor Gate's Picks of the Month
(mentha x villosa)
According to Richter�s, a well-known source of herbs in Ontario, Canada, here�s the scoop on Mojito Mint (botanical name Mentha x villosa):
“Cuba�s famed mojito cocktail, once a daily favourite of Ernest Hemingway, has enjoyed a meteoric resurgence in popularity ever since James Bond drank one in the movie Die Another Day. The mojito, made with rum, sugar, lime juice and Cuba�s unique mojito mint, is now an essential staple of cocktail lounges everywhere. While recipes call for any available variety of spearmint, the real mojito can only be made with the true mojito mint. This mint was impossible to get in North America but thanks to Toronto mojito enthusiast Catherine Nasmith who visited Cuba in 2006 we now have the authentic plant from Cuba. It is clearly different from most other mints — its scent and flavour are agreeably mild and warm, not pungent nor overly sweet like other mints. In a perhaps typically Cuban understated way its warm embrace lingers until you realize you want more. Like all mints it is easy to grow and will happily provide more than enough fresh sprigs for your mojitos.
Growing mint in our climate provides few challenges. Give it a sunny spot, a large and sturdy container from which it cannot escape to take over the rest of your garden, sufficient water, and Bob�s your uncle!
A couple of additional points of growing info: Mint needs to be cut back in order to continue producing new leaves. If it flowers, it will produce fewer and smaller leaves. Fertilize it very sparingly. Towards the end of August, cut it back hard and move it into a shady spot to recover during the fall.
Remember that virtually all mints contain either spearmint or peppermint oils — the only exception is Madalene Hill �Doublemint�, which has both kinds. This lends Doublemint an especially mild and pleasant flavor that is often preferred for culinary purposes.