A refreshing lemon soda infused with mint leaves
• In a food processor, blend the water, sugar, salt, mint, lemon juice and ice cubes together, pulsing until the ice is crushed completely.
• Fill each glass up to half with the Sprite or 7-Up and pour the mint mixture into it until the glass is full.
• Stir the two liquids to combine the tastes.
• Garnish the ridge of the glasses with a slice of lemon each or place mint leaves on top of the drink for decoration.
• Serve immediately.
Note: Prepare the drink right before serving lest the ice melts. You can, however, prepare the mint mixture beforehand.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes
Did you know?
It is estimated that there are over 600 varieties of mint in the world today. In fact, there is even a mint for cats that are attracted to the smell of Catnip plants! Some of the most commonly known types include:
• Peppermint: This is not only the most famous of all mints but also the most commonly used, considering it is the key ingredient of many teas and candies.
• Spearmint: As the ‘freshest’ mint of all, spearmint is used in sauces, jellies and teas, as well as breath fresheners.
• Pennyroyal: Although it is a relatively less popular mint, penny royal happens to be the most powerful type of mint in terms of repelling insects. In fact, pet owners often use it to safeguard their animals against fleas and ticks.
• Chocolate mint: This deliciously rich and dark foliage makes for an ideal dessert following a heavy dinner.
Mint: the all-rounder herb
Did you know mint leaves have a plenty of benefits, other than cooling and refreshing breath? Read on to find out what else this great herb can do for you:
• A curative herb, mint helps soothe the digestive tract which is why it is so often administered as herbal tea for gastro-intestinal problems. It also eliminates toxins from the body, cleaning the stomach, liver and blood.
• The mint plant has sedative effects and disinfectant properties in the form of menthol, limonene, menthone, vitamin C and other antibiotic compounds.
• Mint leaves are ideal for relieving symptoms of asthma, flu and bronchitis owing to their antispasmodic properties. Menthol found in mint is a vasodilator of the nasal mucous membrane and helps treat sinus problems. Inhalation of the leaves clears mucous and relaxes the nerves. It also alleviates dry coughs, sore throats, colds, allergies and chest congestion.
• Mint oil is used to ameliorate depression, stress, fatigue and headaches, by massaging it over the chest, neck and temples. It has also been recommended for rheumatism, acne, blackheads and ear inflammation.
• The aroma emanated by the plant has been proven to curtail anxiety and boost mental performance and alertness. Therefore, drinking mint tea is ideal for students and employees working for long hours.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, June 28th, 2015.