best mint for tea/lemonade?

Atlanta, GA

Hi everyone-
I'm looking for input on what people consider the best mint for tea and/or lemonade. Right now I'm using peppermint (previously, my mother used common garden mint, which is not the best flavor!) and I've just ordered lime mint. But I'd love your suggestions, opinions, and recipes if you've got them!

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

I use Spearmint or Thai Mint.

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1206/
Here's a link to critters article on spearmint

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

The best mint for your tea or lemonade depends on your personal taste. Spearmint is the one most commonly found in grocery stores and is the mint most used in the Middle East and North Africa. I grew up with Peppermint tea. When I was a child, we would often spend the summer in Germany with my mom's family. At that time, if you ordered tea in a restaurant without specifying black tea, you automatically received peppermint tea.

I often use spearmint and lemon together as a seasoning for my zucchini. We like spearmint and lemon verbena combined as a tea too. For plain mint tea with honey, my vote is pure peppermint.

London, United Kingdom

Everyone has their on tastes, and their way of making the said item.
Some people like Thai mint, which is nice; but I like either ginger or Lambs mint, which is a rare English thing.
Have you tried Dandelion and Burdock, for that is a wonderful cooling drink in the summer, if we ever have one!
Otherwise I suggest an English cream tea; for warm scones, homemade butter, fresh strawberry jam, lashings of thick cream, then a wonderful cup of tea, sorts most problems in our tired and turbulent life's out.
Regards from England.
Neil.

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

Neil, if you are going to talk like that you must invite us all over for a proper English teatime! Mmmmmm!!

London, United Kingdom

Dearest Ladies, I am most sorry if the thought of an English cream tea, brought a sudden urge on, for you to have one.
Luckily for me the Garden of England is just down the road, the County of Kent.
There is a lovely little village we go to, most Sundays. It has a pub that was built in the 1500s, and both the beer and the food are sublime, so we have lunch there. Then walking to the steam train station, we go on a steam train ride, in the Kent Countryside.
The highlight (although I love steam trains), is to go to the Tudor tea house. They have a cottage garden one must walk through, to get in. The old beams are original 1550, so are the white painted panels, quite wonderful.
The smell of the scones greet you as you walk through the garden, then you are escorted to these wonderful oak chairs, with hand made cushions on them. A lovely lady brings out a silver trolley then if you were not in heaven you soon will be; placing the tea pot, the milk and sugar on the table, she then proceeds with a small mountain of warm scones, then their Homemade butter from their own cows (lovely colour), Homemade strawberry jam, with big lumps of sticky strawberries in it, and then the thick cream.
You are left alone to go into your own Heaven, whilst the smells intoxicate you!
If you want more tea or scones etc, you simply ask, but most people are full up, with one mountain of scones.
Especially if you eat them the way I do, and that is to simply, cut them in half and then spread all the lucius goodies on each bit, and eat each bit separately.
We went on Sunday, so when I saw this article, I had to say something.
Total cost in your money per person, for as much as you want is $7.00!
They have a farm shop there and sell all the said items and Kent Honey. They also have a cake place, my wife, buys quite a lot in there.
Regards from England.
p.s if you are ever in London you would be most welcome to have a cream tea.
My wife and I cook six days a week, so this one day is our day out.



Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

It sounds simply wonderful! My Great Grandfather was born in Manchester England in 1875. I've always wanted to go there(maybe in twenty years!!) My grandmother, his daughter, used to make clotted cream , butter and home-made ice cream. Her tea always had milk in it; which is still the way I like my tea even w/ the strange looks I get from my husband's family!
I have a rather nice recipe for spice scones; think I'll head off to the kitchen now!! Thanks for tempting the ol' tastebuds. :-)

London, United Kingdom

Dear Sue, if I may take the liberty of calling you that?
I cook six days a week, sometimes for a lot of people, so anything I can say that will entice someone into a kitchen, is a bonus to me.
I have been to Manchester a lot of times, unfortunately some parts of it are very violent now.
So keep out of them areas, if you do come.
Kent is subtle and most serene, although a lot of other counties are.
However as much as I do like strawberries, there is simply nothing in the World that can beat Scottish raspberries, a simple and ultimate delight!
Cranachan as it is called, if you dot like malt whisky use cold tea!
Ingredients For Cranachan
60g of medium oatmeal
150g of raspberries
4 tablespoons of malt whisky
4 tablespoons of runny Scottish heather honey
600mls of double cream
Scatter the oatmeal onto a baking tray and toast in a low oven or under the grill until they become golden brown. Do stand and watch this because they can easily and quickly burn.
Blend 50g of the raspberries in a liquidiser until smooth. Whip the double cream until stiff, then stir in the honey and whisky and mix well but do not over-whip. Fold in 50g of the oatmeal, then carefully fold in the raspberry purée to form a rippled effect.
Spoon the mixture into glass coupes or a serving dish, then scatter the rest of the raspberries and oatmeal on top.
You can also use Drambuie, a Scottish liqueur but sweet.
Then put it in the fridge and leave for at least 30 minutes, a wonderful sweet.
It is most lovely, and should not really be on this thread, never mind, you only live once.
Kind Regards from London.
Neil.

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

That Cranachan will do me for a wee doch 'n doris!

London, United Kingdom

Aye lass, be a wee bit careful, or yee may end tumbling in the heather. or having a few more drams of uisge beatha, the water of life!
Neil.

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

LOL!

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

lol!
Ooo, ye making me slaver aw doon ma chin!

London, United Kingdom

Wee bonnie lass, oh dinna slaver only wee bairns do that.

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

Guess I'm in need of a bib then!lol

Care for some scones?

Thumbnail by saanansandy
London, United Kingdom

Where is the butter, jam and lashings of cream!
If you want the best scone recipe, ask me and I will send it o you.
Only if you put butter, jam and cream on them!
Regards from London.
Neil.

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

I skim the cream off the top of my pastured, raw Jersey milk from local dairy. The butter is also from Jerseys on pasture. Do I qualify for the scone recipe? (or do I need to sing "roamin' in the gloamin" while hefting a pint like my grandpa?) :)

London, United Kingdom

It does, if it means that you could handle a Heavy and a dump, as the Scottish call their favorite pint.
As I am reading this recipe from my Aunts collection, who lives in Fraserborough, Scotland, if you go any further north you are in the north pole!
So on my Mac I am playing the massed pipe bands of the Black watch and other Scottish regiments.
In the meantime, I am having a wee dram of the water of life.
So if you could sing the Brown bear, that would be a tad better!
Here it is then.
8 ounces of plain flour.
2 ounces of soft margarine (yes margarine as it makes them light).
Half a teaspoon full of bicarbonate of soda.
! teaspoon full, cream of Tartar.
Or.
3 level teaspoons of baking powder.
Sift the flour, then add all the other ingredients into, not a wee bowl, you may add a pinch of salt if yo so wish.
Then mix the margarine together with the mixture, add 1 egg and a little milk, beaten together.
When you have mixed that, on a floured board roll it out to three quarters of an inch thick, cut it into rounds.
In a preheated oven cook on gas mark 7 for 10-15 minutes, of course egg wash the tops if you like them brown.
You may also add 2 ounces of dried fruit to make fruit scones.
You can also put 2 ounces of cheese in them.
As far as I am concerned, anyone who makes fruit ones should be taken the Tower of London, through Traitors gate.
Now Scotch on the rocks is playing, so I feel it is time to have another wee dram.
Regards, from London.
Neil.
p.s. If you require anything else contact me.



Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

Ok, I promise to have all the fixins' whenever I make this recipe!


Here's a pic of my Great Grandparents together with the 1928 Model A:

This message was edited Sep 4, 2009 12:02 PM

Thumbnail by saanansandy
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

Thank you so much for the recipe Neil!

I'm not sure if I know the Brown bear. How do the first few lines of the song go?

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Scones? *Real* English scones, not the Starbucks interpretation?

Gotta try 'em.

marsinger4, once upon a time I had some fabulous lemonade made with Basil. It might have been lemon basil, I don't know. But I would definitely recommend it.

London, United Kingdom

Pagancat I had to ask my wife what Starbucks was! So she basically told me it is kind of a coffee shop that does bits of non de script food, if one could call it that.
She told me not to worry as they cannot even make coffee, let alone scones.
I am sure no one in her office can cook anything, for they love my Homemade breads, and are forever sending me an e-mail requesting some for one reason or another!
They are always wanting my Mediterranean herb bread or sun dried tomato's and parmesan!
This made me have a quick think, for two weeks ago when we were in Kent (we go every week), she bought a lot extra in the Tudor Tea Rooms shop.
On the Monday she asked me to make a large batch of scones, for something at work, which I did.
I thought know more about it, till this morning when I got your message.
So I asked her this morning what had happened to my scones and all the Homemade butter, jam and cream from Kent!
She teold me that there is in fact three coffee shops near her work and they all make scones, but they are disgusting!
So she took some real ones into work with all the proper Kent ingredients.
There is only six people in her office and she is the boss (and of me), so she grabbed one took the scones and went down the staff restaurant.
She asked them to warm the scones up and make some proper tea with proper cups and a milk and sugar bowl.
This was taken back upstairs and served at 3 o'clock, the correct way.
Evidently the staff were stunned at having to drink out of proper cups, as they are used to plastic ones from the coffee shops.
Then they piled into the scones or so the wife tells me, there was enough for sixteen people to have four each, thirty minutes later between six of them, there was nothing left!
As she was about to go out the door she tells me that not one of them have ever eaten a scone from any of the coffee shops since! Then as a quick afterthought "we are going to Kent on Sunday, so you can make some more for them!"
Nice isn't it.
Regards.
Neil.



San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

You are correct that Starbucks cannot even make a good cup of coffee. They burn their beans when they roast them. Every Starbucks smells of burnt coffee beans. Their scones have the taste and mouth feel of paper maché. What Starbucks does do well is marketing. They are very successful at that. We have many smaller coffee roasters who do an excellent job in the roasting and blending and do make a good cup of coffee. Interestingly, many of my co-workers will say that they don't really like the taste of Starbucks coffee, yet that is where they go. I've them why they go there if they don't like the taste of Starbucks products. They respond "I go because it's Starbucks!". Apparently Starbucks is the place to be seen so that you "fit in". Ha!

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Yeah, although I gotta say, these overly sweet, cakey scones that we get are more than just Starbucks - I haven't found a decent scone in America, yet. Of course, I don't live in an area like Garden_mermaid does, she might actually find a decent bakery where she lives. Sounds like even the Brits are slipping - thank goodness you're there to keep them on course, Neil.

It's true, no good deed shall go unpunished..... can you ship me some of that next batch, lol?

London, United Kingdom

Dear Ladies, my wife has had a good laugh at your comments!
She claims it is not just Starbucks shops that smell of burnt coffee beans, it is her office as well!
Evidently there are quite a lot of coffee shop chains, as she calls them all over the City of London. They are all just as bad and very expensive. I was shocked at the cost they charge in the City, £2.99p for a large cup which is $4.99285 in your money!
However there is a pub chain over here called J.D. Wetherspoons, they are not liked by the other pub chains, caterers, or coffee shops, because they are cheap and good!
I know it sounds strange going in a pub in the morning for they open at 8 o'clock, but they do cheap breakfasts and for the City workers good coffee and muffins. Their coffee and any muffin you want is £00.60p which is $1.00174, that is a bit better. Plus to annoy the competition they have posters up with all the prices of the other shops and then theirs.
The best place for a coffee if you can get a seat in London is a little Italian shop near Soho, their Cappuccino is to die for, and they do not do take away coffee!
My wife likes to go to Bromley in Kent as they have a Victorian coffee shop that only sells beans!
They roast them in the window in an old machine and the smell is incredible.
They have hundreds of sacks of coffee beans, all different, so the staff ask what you would like and they mix it and roast it for you!
They will grind it for you, if you so wish. My wife just gets the beans as we have a coffee grinder, for if you wrap the beans in foil and put them in the freezer it keeps them fresh.
Thank you for making us laugh, however you would think that in 2009 soon to be 2010 you should be able to get a decent cup of coffee!
I have said before on the recipe forum and indeed have put some on, if you need any recipes from England please just ask.
I will go into my Grandmas 1911 diary and my mothers!
Thanks.
Neil.

Plano, TX

this is not a mint to use for tea but i did make rosemary tea today that turned out pretty good--steeped some rosemary, crystalized ginger, half of a lemon, honey and a couple of whole cloves for about 4 minutes--i was afraid the rosemary would get bitter if steeped too long but next time i will make it a bit stronger--tastes pretty good

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

That sounds lovely, planolinda!

Plano, TX

thanks

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

Neil, what would your grandmother have used instead of margarine in the scones?
We don't buy or eat any hydrogentated fats like margarine. I'm going to try them with our Jersey butter. Hope that is not too scandalous. LOL!
I'm just curious about how grandma did it back then. :)

London, United Kingdom

Yes they did use butter when they could get it.
Don't forget in Two World Wars we had rationing on, so the small piece of butter you got was too precious to cook with. Margarine you could get so that is why they used it.
Rationing was on from 1939-1954!
Here is the 1939 ration per person per week.
Meat - between 1s. (5p) and 2s. (10p) a head a week
Bacon - 4 oz. (113 gm) to 8 oz. (227 gm) a week
Tea - 2 oz. (57 gm) to 4 oz. (113 gm) a week
Cheese — 1 oz. (28 gm) to 8 oz. (227 gm) a week
Butter-- 1 oz a week
Sugar - 8 oz. (227 gm) a week.
Vegetables were not rationed, but bread was.
You also get a certain amount of cooking fat and 1 to two eggs per week.
Although you could get dried eggs!
Not much for a week, but our Nation was never healthier!
Try that for a whole week!
Regards.
Neil.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

No wonder you thought our meals were huge, lol! And of course, they are.

I'm seeing a new fad diet... the WWII diet, the diet to end all diets!

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

I like that Pagancat. And, Niel...thanks for the recipe for Scones!!!

Every year for the past 5 I have been visiting a dear very elderly friend in NZ and our morning AND afternoon ritual of a 'cuppa' with a biscuit is a sacred time and I think of it often as I sweat thru the gardening here in the tropics. I have started a tradition with my granddaughter since she was 3 years old. We find a Tea House and have a proper cup of tea in the afternoon. OH, not High Tea with all of the lovely bits to eat...just very properly made tea and milk and little cubes of sugar with 'tongs' to take them out. Now she is 4 and wants to pour the tea next time!!!

I remember a pub in London with a brass plaque that read: 'Remodeled in 1621'.

Carol

London, United Kingdom

Pagancat & AlohaHoya, I do admire your style!
Normally 11 o'clock is coffee, but one does not have biscuits with coffee.
Then if you do not want a High Tea; which is normally only eaten in the summer, or what little we have of it. then afternoon tea is served with biscuits.
The biscuits should of course be homemade and indeed match the tea to be served!
Some people do not like sugar or indeed milk, so that is always served separately, then people can help themselves.
Whilst I was in America I asked for a pot of tea, and was served a metal teapot with tea bags in it!
Not only is that quite abhorrent on both counts, but surely is most disgusting to everyones taste.
You must use a china pot that has been warmed first, then the tea must be left to brew for at least four minutes.
Strained into china cups and served, that is at least common decency, both to the tea and your guests.
Kind Regards.
Neil.


(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Ah, such a genteel, elegant way of life... do you really do all that, Neil? Everyday? Or just when you have a whim or guests?

Plano, TX

i know someone who went out of her way to find and spend a good deal of money for a metal tea pot (iron?) claiming it kept the tea warm and tasted better so i am guessing that it is all in the taste of the beholder

London, United Kingdom

No not for myself is the straight answer as I do not drink coffee, as I was brought up on tea!
However I always make fresh coffee for my wife and her friends for elevenses, as we call them.
Then I cook the biscuits, depending on who is present, for afternoon tea.
Of course in the odd summers we do have, if they wish for a High tea I do that.
I do lunch, so they have that, whilst they are doing their women chat.
So I clear up and set the table ready for afternoon tea, that I do have, usually on my own in the kitchen!
If the weather is nice the women have their tea outside in the garden underneath, my rather large Canary Island palm.
If they are staying for Dinner, then I get on with that.
My rules are quite simple, they can eat whatever they so wish for, but if they are driving they do not drink!
They know my rules so obey them, and get a Taxi home, hence they stay for Dinner.
More washing up!
Sunday is my day; for not only do I not have to cook, we go to Kent!
There are three reasons for this; I can have an English roast I do not have to cook, then a High tea, but more importantly our Veterans are treated like, something you have stepped on in the street.
I am a Veteran but not a Second World War one, I am a bit younger than that.
There are loads of little farms in Kent, that basically sell everything.
From meat, vegetables, cheese, fruit, to free range eggs.
In fact anything you could imagine.
So without boring you anymore the wife and I, make up some nice hampers for the old gentleman, from everything we get fresh off the farms.
There are three English Veterans and one American, so once the wife takes the handcuffs off me I am allowed to take the nice produce into, my local pub for them!
Then I buy them a drink and give them whatever we have managed to get hold of!
They wait for their traets, so I get two hours, without someone nagging me to do the washing and the ironing as well.
Regards.
Neil.


(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Very kind of you two... that's beyond sweet.

Keaau, HI(Zone 11)

Neil...you are precious!

I come back from NZ with good tea, which is rather common stuff there...Dilmah. In the winter I usually have a cup of tea and a bikkie at 3p.m. - I can tell the time from my cravings!!!!

Veterans the world over are under appreciated! I cannot believe the lives they have led and am so grateful they have gone so I wouldn't have to!!!

London, United Kingdom

No I am nothing at all, just doing what I believe in.
Having been in combat and being badly injured, I believe it is the little bits that help. If we can help out even in a limited way, then it is better than the Government do.
For why should an 83 year old ex service man be made homeless and have to come to live with us, not that we minded, for it was wonderful to have him around.
Or why is it in the cold we had in February this year, some old War Veterans, could only afford to have their heating on for twenty minutes a day, if they have any heating?
The list is endless, from some of them still having old tin baths to bathe in, to even worse.
They are not fussy with food at all, anything is a treat to them, and they appreciate it, the youngsters should remember that.
To them a leg of pork or lamb, some sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomato's and vegetables is a great treat and keeps them going.
Some do have their wive's some do not, so the biggest thing they have to cope with is loneliness, for if they cannot afford to have a few drinks in the pub, they don't get anyone to talk to.
Imagine staying in on the cold dark winter days and nights on your own, all the time, in a freezing cold house!
So as I love cooking and so does my wife, we have them around to our house every fortnight, for dinner and a chat.
As far as I know they love to come round; are always on time and very smart.
Plus whatever we cook there is never a single thing left on any plate, and they drink my beer.
We also ask companies on our computers to donate for the Veterans, which surprisingly a lot do. Even the National Lottery gave us a lot of money to have a V.J. party, everyone was invited and it was a huge success.
There are only two of us, and I am the only male Caseworker in the south east, as it is hard to get women caseworkers, the widows have to wait a bit longer, until one is available.
For a male caseworker is not allowed to see a woman alone, and vice a versa.
We do not only look after the Ex service people, we look after their spouse/spouses and dependants as well.
Thank the Lord for the Royal British Legion (thats who I work for), as without them I really do not know what our 10.5 million Veterans might do.
Christmas is a busy time, as for people without anyone and little money it is very lonely, but we do our best for everyone.
The reason it is hard to get Caseworkers is simple; firstly you have to be trained at University to get this bit of paper, then police checked and it is entirely voluntary, you get paid nothing!
You are not allowed to accept anything but a cup of tea or a beer, from anyone you help.
My great time is at Christmas when I go down to the farm in Kent and get some Ham joints. Then my old Veteran friends come round and we put my food smoker on to smoke the Hams. They love a beer, a meal, a chat, and to take a smoked Ham home for Christmas.
AlohaHoya over here we get ANZAC biscuits, you can get them in most places, a portion of the profit goes to Australian and New Zealand Veterans.
They are delicious with a cup of tea, and are very popular.
Enough of me standing on a high horse, I just get upset, with the way people are treated.
My Kindest Regards from London.
Neil.






Smyrna, DE(Zone 7a)

I grew up with Apple Mint in my tea. It's what I use now that I have a pot of it. It's just right.

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