Cool down this summer with this ice-cold refresher

 

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Hot summer days need plenty of frosty, cold drinks. Here’s an ice-cold refresher to help you dial down the sugar, boost up flavor and save some money.

Icy Mint Lemonade

Save some coins and make your own lemonade cooler at home with this refreshing recipe.

Ingredients

½ cup sugar

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup mint leaves

3 cups water

Stir sugar into 1 cup water and boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice, mint leaves and 2 cups of water. Cool in refrigerator. Strain out mint leaves, pour over ice and enjoy. It keeps for up to one week.

You don’t have to just stick with peppermint and spearmint classics, either. How about trying other mint herbs like citrus mint, grape mint, mojito mint or apple mint?

You can also remix this classic recipe with a few change-ups.

  • Add some excitement by swapping out spring water for sparkling water.
  • Use lime juice instead of lemon.
  • Try lemon verbena leaves instead of mint.
  • Add some spice with 1 tablespoon fresh ginger with the sugar.

Recipe and info provided by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Minnesota Extension Master Garden Program.

Get Growing

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Not only are mints great for adding flavor to your favorite drink, these fragrant leaves also serve as great air fresheners and herbal medicines and are easy to grow at home.

These perennials require minimal care and can even be grown indoors. Be sure to water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

You don’t have to worry about the mints spreading, either. Simply rein them in by growing in a container or sunken pot and harvest frequently. Young leaves actually have more flavor than the older leaves and can be picked as soon as they come up in the spring.

Frequent harvesting is the key to keeping mint plants at their best. While fresh is always best, mint leaves can also be frozen or dried for later use.