Mint (also known as mentha) is a genus of plants in the mint family. There are quite a few species that botanists find difficult to tell the difference. The distinction is unclear because hybridization occurs naturally, and many new hybrids with similar traits appear. Let’s take peppermint as an example. Many of you definitely know a thing or two about it (one of the coolest facts is that it can grow practically anywhere), but hardly anyone knows that peppermint is a cross between watermint and spearmint. Why should you? The only thing you really should know is how to brew a cup of excellent peppermint tea. By the way, it’s also known as Moroccan or Maghrebi mint tea. A popular drink in North Africa and among Arabs.
Of course, many people throughout the world love and enjoy this simple yet so deep and warming, in every sense of the word, drink. The basic ingredients are boiling water, green tea, mint leaves and sugar. Sometimes lemon verbena is also added to compliment the mint. Actually, you can add any herb you deem appropriate for your five o’clock tea. Traditionally, the tea from the same pot would be steeped three times, giving each time a new distinct flavour to a cup, from gentle as life to bitter as death (according to one famous Maghrebi proverb).
But why do we even love mint? Because it contains menthol – an organic compound that activates our cold-sensitive receptors that give us a pleasant effect that’s called a cooling sensation – a very comforting feeling when you live in a hot environment. However, you should enjoy the peppermint no matter where you live. And one of the coolest (yep, pun intended) recipes for that is a simple mint sauce. You won’t need many ingredients or time. Get a bunch of mint, strip off all the leaves and wash them. Then drain, pat dry and chop finely. Toss in a bowl, add 3 Tbsp of white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, mix well and then pour 4 Tbsp of boiling water into the bowl. Stir, adjust the seasonings, and put aside until everything is well married. This is a classic condiment for roasts and steaks, but mint sauce also belongs to morning buttered toasts, scrambled eggs and savoury pancakes that go so well with a dollop of heavy cream.