How to Make Mint Wine
Fresh Mint Makes Great Wine
Why Mint Wine?
Mint is my favorite herb wine. It can be made with any type of mint and only requires a small amount of leaves. In the summer, it is best chilled or poured over ice with extra sprigs of mint to garnish the top. In the winter, it serves as a wonderful base for a punch. Mint wine is a great wine for new winemakers because it clears easily, works off fast, and tastes great.
Mint Wine Ingredients
- 4 cups lightly packed fresh mint
- 1 gallon water
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 3 lbs sugar
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 Campden tablet
It is best to use fresh mint because it has the best color and flavor. If you want quality wine, you must use quality ingredients, preferably from your own herb garden. Rinse four lightly packed cups of fresh mint under cold water, removing dirt, bugs, dead leaves, and other foreign materials. Place the mint and one quart of water in a two quart pot. Bring to a simmer. Fit the pot with a tight lid and turn off the heat. Steep the mint for no longer than an hour.
Boil three quarts of water and three pounds of sugar in a separate pot. Stir to dissolve sugar. Allow this to cool.
Strain the mint steeped water into a gallon size glass jug. Add the cooled sugar water and three teaspoons of lemon juice. Make sure the mixture is cool before adding the Campden tablet. The Campden tablet is optional, but I it does help clear the wine and prevents it from becoming ropey due to harmless, yet annoying, bacteria. Twenty-four hours later, add a packet of yeast. Champagne or Montrachet yeast may be used, but a regular packet of active dry bread yeast works just as well. Pull a balloon over the top of the jug. Sit the jug in a dark corner or cupboard of your kitchen.
Let the wine ferment for a week or until you can see a layer of sediment on the bottom of the jug. During this time, the balloon with expand significantly on the jug - this means things are going as planned. When sediment has formed on the bottom, remove the balloon and rack the wine into another clean, sanitized, gallon-sized glass jug. I use a small, clean rubber tube to siphon the wine. Be sure to keep the tube away from the sediment in the bottom of the jug - the whole point of racking is to separate the wine from the sediment. When you have racked the wine into the new, sediment free jug, place a new balloon on the top. It will expand again. After a couple more weeks, more sediment will form on the bottom of the jug. Repeat the racking process.
Mint wine works off relatively quickly. It is usually ready to bottle and seal a month and a half after mixing all the ingredients. When the balloon on top of the jug has lost all pressure, allow the jug to sit for an extra week. I do this to make sure the wine has completely stopped working. Rack the wine into clean bottles and seal.
Mint wine is best when stored at least one year in a cool, dark place before drinking. It is, however, drinkable upon the final racking and thus rarely lives to the ripe age of one. This wine often has a yellow-green color that can be easily fixed by a single drop of green food coloring. Homemade wine is like nothing you can buy at a store, only costs pennies to make, and has a much higher alcoholic content. The quality of your product, the money you save, and the satisfaction of producing a stunning product with your own hands is by far more enjoyable than simply buying a bottle of overpriced wine at the store. Follow these simple directions and within a couple months you will be able to sit back, pop open a bottle of mint wine, and thoroughly enjoy your brewing journey.