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Why The Mint Washing Technique Is Making A Wave In The World Of Mixology

mint washing cocktail

If you enjoy mixing drinks and making your own cocktails, this article will surely excite you. Let us introduce you to a new mixology technique called mint washing, a method that has all the flavour and texture the herb can provide.

Like every invention,  this technique too came out due to sheer necessity. Bars are flooded with orders, especially that of the Mojito. Copenhagen-based bar owner Peter Altenburg came up with this method. For his bar called Bird, he created his take on the Mojito which uses the mint wash technique. This new technique created a spin-off of the popular cocktail called &thesea, which was equally laden with flavour and added silky smooth texture. And, now his bartenders no longer had to concoct back-to-back Mojito orders as &thesea became a rage but it can be batch-prepared way ahead of time.

Altenburg's mint washing gave him a win on all counts: a new delicious drink that takes less service time and increased consistency in cocktail making!

How To Mint Wash

Altenburg uses two kinds of infusion. Below are their details

Infusion 1

Mint Washed Rum

Since mint oils easily give out wet dog odour, Altenburg says that spirits should be added to the herb immediately after extracting the oils. The first type of infusion uses oleo saccharum, a sweetener that’s made with superfine sugar, mint stems and mint leaves muddled together and refrigerated overnight. This is followed by a rum wash, where unaged rum is added to the oleo saccharum and kept in the freezer for 24 hours. The frigidity of this mix ensures that the strong base of minty rum is secured but none of the heavy, pungent lingers.

Infusion 2

The second kind of mint infusion uses vermouth to extract lighter, subtler flavours. Alternburg uses a blender to blitz Spanish vermouth blanco, fresh mint leaves together. He then lets the mixture sit for an hour in the fridge.

Altenburg then strains both the mint washes using a coffee filter. The resulting concoction is a clear spirit with slight green tinges. Both the infusions, together, provide the very essence of mint's flavour containing nuances of its stem to its leaves.  

When he uses the infusions for &thesea, it brings out a kick of minty aromas and notes of elegant rum.

&thesea Recipe (Batch cocktail)


500 ml mint-washed rum
300 ml mint-infused vermouth
100 ml malic acid solution (mix 2 grams malic acid powder with 100 ml water)
100 ml elderflower syrup
Sparkling water, to top
Fresh mint sprig, for garnish


Take a container and mix mint-washed rum, mint-infused vermouth, malic acid solution and elderflower syrup. Refrigerate the mixture until ready to serve. Take an ice pillar and place it in a highball glass. Add 150 ml of the refrigerated mixture and top it with sparkling water. Bash a small sprig of mint in your hand and then garnish the drink with it.

While it is normal to learn about spirits and cocktails and enjoy them, it is key to consume alcohol moderately. One must serve and drink responsibly for good health and to stay out of any harm's way. If you know anyone who finds it difficult to control their alcohol consumption, please refer them to a professional.  

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