How to Keep Mint Fresh for Drink Garnishes

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A sprig of mint, with its cool and refreshing flavor, adds a decorative look as well as a complementary flavor to beverages such as lemonade and mint juleps. The freshest mint is essential if you plan to garnish drinks with mint sprigs at your next home gathering or party. Whether you cut mint stems from your own plant or purchase pre-cut mint from the grocery store, proper storage keeps the leaves fresh and crisp for as long as possible.

Fresh-Cut Mint

Thoroughly rinse and pat dry fresh mint leaves to remove any soil residue.

Fill a jar or tall plastic container with roughly 1 inch of of water, just enough to cover the cut stem ends of the mint leaves.

Place the mint leaves in the container. Let most of the mint leaves stick out of the container, like flowers in vase.

Cover the mint leaves and container loosely with a plastic bag, and place it in the refrigerator. Keep the mint no longer than seven to 10 days. Alternatively, keep the mint in a jar of water on the kitchen counter, although the leaves stay crisper longer in the fridge. Change the water in the container when it starts to get cloudy.

Pre-Cut Mint

Rinse the mint leaves and pat dry with paper towels.

Wrap the mint carefully between two dry paper towels.

Place the wrapped mint leaves in a plastic bag and tie it shut.

Store the bag of mint in the vegetable crisper in your fridge. The mint should remain fresh for up to a week.