A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Making Mint Wine

Of the dozen or so country wines we’ve attempted, mint wine has so far been the winner overall. It’s easy to make from start to finish, with no fruit to pit or grate; straining is a piece of cake; and the flavor is superb. Perhaps due to the large proportion of apple mint I used among other varieties, the wine smells and tastes very much like our apple wine.

Best of all, mint grows abundantly year-round with virtually zero maintenance, which of course can make it a real pest. For anyone plagued with an overabundance, this is an ideal use.

Mint Wine

If you like, adjust the quantities of the recipe to suit the size of carboy you will use, but add only one yeast packet nevertheless.

1 Lb clean mint leaves (about 2-1/2 quarts, tightly packed)

3.5 gallons water

10 Lbs sugar

1 packet wine yeast

Place the mint leaves in a large stainless steel pot or fermentation tub, at least 20-quart size. Boil the water and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Pour the sugar-water over the mint. (Alternatively if you have only one large pot, boil the water, dissolve the sugar, and simply stir in the mint, continually pressing it below the surface until well saturated.)

Steep and let cool for several hours or overnight, preferably reaching a temperature of about 75 degrees. If desired, take a hydrometer reading so that you can later determine the alcohol content.

Scoop about 3/4 to 1 cup of the mint ‘tea’ into a glass or measuring cup. Add the yeast to this and agitate to submerge the yeast in the water. Leave it in a warm part of the kitchen for 15 to 20 minutes while it activates.

 

Add the yeast and liquid back into the pot with the mint. Stir well to aerate and spread the yeast. Then cover the pot or tub with a clean cloth or a lid that’s not sealed tight. Place it in a safe place where it won’t get too cold.

Twice each day, using a clean (sterilized) slotted spoon or whisk, vigorously stir the solution. Do this for five to ten days, or until the rapid primary fermentation dies down.

Strain and siphon or funnel into a carboy and top with an airlock.

Keep a regular eye on the airlock to make sure the water level maintains the seal, adding more if too much evaporates. After two months, rack into another carboy. Then after three more months, rack again. When the wine is nice and clear, bottle.

The wine may be drunk right away, although some say it is best aged for a year. I doubt this ours will make it that long– I’m thinking chilled on a hot summer afternoon. That almost makes me excited for warm weather!

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19 Comments

  1. December 17, 2014    

    Never thought of mint wine before, but that does sound delicious. Please be careful with glass carboys. My husband while home brewing this past Feb nearly took his left arm (seriously) off when the carboy shattered during sanitation. We now use “better bottles” until we can convert our basement to include stainless steel fermentation tanks.

    • December 17, 2014    

      Good advice– plenty of caution must be taken in many areas of the process. I generally use a Brew Hauler, which is a set of straps with handles that makes handling the carboys infinitely easier. I’ll share a picture of it on my LFC facebook page if you’d like to check it out. Love the image of a basement full of fermentation tanks!

  2. December 17, 2014    

    I’m SO EXCITED…I have a gallon batch of this I’m about to bottle! I’ve done herb wines before, but this is my first time trying mint. Glad I’m not the only weirdo who had the idea! *grin*

    • December 17, 2014    

      Haha, awesome! I am making wine from pretty much anything these days, and I’m amazed how “fruity” the mint wine is!

      • March 5, 2015    

        I finally tried mine…it’s almost like a fruity white wine, with a solid “mouthfeel” – I’m amazed! 😀 Happy brewing!

  3. December 17, 2014    

    This sounds awesome! 🙂
    I have… what did you say… an overabundance of mint? .. and I love wine. How perfect!
    ~ Christine

    • December 17, 2014    

      Yes, Christine! Mint can get out of control– nothing like a good haircut that yields delicious wine! I hope you go for it and enjoy!

  4. December 17, 2014    

    We love using spearmint in our wine and apple mint in our cider. Will have to do a switcheroo just to mix it up a bit.

    • December 17, 2014    

      I put a handful of spearmint in, along with a bit of peppermint and some grapefruit. I love the idea of throwing some mint into cider!

      • December 17, 2014    

        Ooh, and I like the grapefruit idea…thanks!

  5. December 17, 2014    

    Mint wine sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to give this a try!

    • December 17, 2014    

      Do! It’s so easy and yummy!

  6. December 17, 2014    

    Awesome! My husband has been brewing a bit this year, now that we have more storage space than previously. This could be a fun one to try!

    • December 17, 2014    

      Excellent! It’s fun way to experiment, and this recipe is such a simple one.

  7. mwatson6 mwatson6
    January 15, 2015    

    When do you strain the leaves from the liquid?

    • January 15, 2015    

      I leave the mint leaves in the liquid for the full primary fermentation stage and strain it after the five to ten days of stirring and fizzing.

  8. January 26, 2015    

    I never thought of making wine with mint. Oh, I can’t wait to give this a try next summer.

  9. January 31, 2015    

    I love your big carboy! I haven’t tried making wine, just mead so far. I didn’t know you could make wine with mint(!). That’s brilliant!

    • February 3, 2015    

      Thanks! We have a bunch of mismatched carboys. I love making wine from all kinds of wild things– just have to add more sugar if there’s no fruit. The mint turned out stellar!

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I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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