Mint is a highly aromatic herb that provides many benefits. Gum companies often use mint in their products to help combat bad breath. This versatile plant can be used in teas, consumed raw and even made into an oil for culinary, health remedies and personal purposes. You have the option of choosing between two different methods of making mint oil: hot or cold infusion. The hot-infused method is quicker, but more time consuming, while cold-infused oil is easier to make, but takes longer.
Things You'll Need
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Towel or paper towels
4 to 4 1/2 cups coconut, olive or palm oil
Wide-mouth canning jar with lid
Hot Infusion Method
Gather your fresh mint leaves. Wash them gently with cold to lukewarm water to remove any surface dirt or insects present. Set the leaves on a towel to pat them dry.
Place the mint leaves in a small bowl. Use a small cooking mallet to lightly crush the leaves. This releases the oils naturally found in the leaves. You can also use a mortar and pestle to gently grind the leaves or simply tear them up manually.
Transfer 1 cup of fresh mint leaves into a saucepan. Pour 2 cups of the carrier oil -- coconut, palm or olive oil -- over the top of the leaves.
Set the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring constantly; this reduces the chance of burning the oil. Continue cooking for five minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the oil and mint leaves carefully into a heat-resistant bowl. Let the oil cool to touch before continuing.
Pour 2 to 2 1/2 additional cups of the carrier oil into the heat-resistant bowl. Stir to incorporate the new oil into the mint-infused oil.
Place cheesecloth over the top of a wide-mouth canning jar. Slowly pour the contents of the heat-resistant bowl over the cheesecloth. The cheesecloth acts as a strainer as it stops the mint leaves from entering the jar with the heat-infused oil.
Secure the lid on the oil-filled canning jar. Store the jar in the refrigerator. The mint oil should keep for one to two months.
Cold Infusion Method
Place clean and dry mint leaves in a small bowl. Press the mint leaves with the back of a stirring utensil to grind them a bit and release their natural oils.
Fill a glass canning jar with the pressed mint leaves.
Pour the carrier oil over the leaves until the jar is full. Secure the tight-fitting lid on the jar.
Set the jar in a warm location out of direct sunlight. Shake the jar vigorously once or twice a day for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks have passed, use the homemade mint oil as desired. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Using a double boiler to warm the carrier oil helps prevent it from burning.
Attach a sprig of mint to a decorative mint-oil filled bottle with twine and give to family and friends as a homemade gift.
Avoid boiling the oil as this could lead to the oil burning, which will have a negative effect on the taste of the mint oil.