Saturday Spotlight: Spearmint ‘The Best’

I love mints of all kinds, and over the years I have managed to collect quite an assortment of them. I grow all these mints in containers, since I learned years ago that mint was too unruly to plant in the open ground where it can spread and quickly become invasive. Mints do quite well in larger containers, and easily survive our zone 6 winters outside without any special protection. I like to grow them in a container that’s at least 12 inches in diameter, and bigger is even better. The plant in the below photo is in a container that is 16 inches wide and 12 inches deep.

Spearmint 'The Best' growing in container

Spearmint ‘The Best’ growing in container

One of my favorite mints is the spearmint variety called ‘The Best’. I’ve grown this strain for many years, longer than I can remember even. Nichol’s Garden Nursery used to sell it, but now the only online source I could find in the U.S. is Mountain Valley Growers. It is worth seeking out, and often local nurseries and growers will have it. To me it has a nice, classic spearmint taste and aroma, and the young leaves and stems are quite tender, which is a plus for cooking.

close of spearmint 'The Best'

close of spearmint ‘The Best’

In the kitchen, I most often use mints in teas. I use them to flavor green, white and black teas by chopping up some of the leaves and adding to the tea when brewing. I pretty much drink tea every day year round, whether iced, hot or room temperature. In summer I also dry quite a bit of mint to use in wintertime. Spearmint ‘The Best’ retains its flavor for many months when dried and stored in an airtight container.

iced green tea with spearmint

iced green tea with spearmint

Fresh mint also finds its way into things like Greek salads and salad dressings. And of course lamb and mint are a classic combination, and I always add a little bit of chopped mint to my lamb burgers. I thing I haven’t tried yet, but will soon, is mint pesto. We even put spearmint in our soaps, especially our Spearmint Hand Soap. It is a useful and versatile herb for sure! If you are looking for an easy to grow and tasty mint, Spearmint ‘The Best’ is a proven winner in my books.

Spearmint hand soap

Spearmint hand soap

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Saturday Spotlight, and I’ll be back soon with another variety. Until then, Happy Growing from Happy Acres!

To see my other Saturday Spotlights, visit the Variety Spotlights page.

 

 

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7 Responses to Saturday Spotlight: Spearmint ‘The Best’

  1. Daphne says:

    I’m not a big fan of spearmint (though I love peppermint). So I just grow one kind. Originally it comes from Cuba and is called Mojito mint. Supposedly it is the best mint for that drink. But I haven’t a clue. I figured if I was going to have just one spearmint in the garden it had to be that one. I’ve never done any comparisons. And since I’m not a big fan it rarely gets used.
    Daphne recently posted…What’s Growing in MayMy Profile

  2. Marcia says:

    Not sure what variety my one plant is but I too keep it contained. I have the pot buried in the herb garden. This winter the clay pot cracked so I had to dig it up and size it to a bigger pot. Some had escaped but I think I got those pulled out. I wish I’d contained the oregano like that. It is another one that spreads and spreads.
    Marcia recently posted…Friday FavoriteMy Profile

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  4. Liz says:

    Sorry my post was so late this week – I have now posted and added your link. I love mint, although I use more ‘common’ mint than spearmint although I think they can be relatively interchangeable. I use my mint most in salads and then teas. I think it is my favourite herb (that and parsley….). Here I never seen named varieties of individual mints, we just get ‘spearmint’, ‘peppermint’, ‘mint’ and so on.
    Liz recently posted…Saturday Spotlight – Black ZucchiniMy Profile

  5. Michelle says:

    Sounds interesting. I like spearmint and am growing one variety that I love and never extended my search for a good mint any further. I found my original “Persian” mint plant at the farmer’s market years ago. It is sweet and tender and perfect for using fresh. But perhaps I should broaden my mint collection a bit!
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – May 6, 2013My Profile

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  7. Frogdancer says:

    Darn it! I just made spearmint soap last week and even though I have spearmint growing in a wicking box on the front porch, didn’t think to put some in. I won’t make that mistake again…
    Frogdancer recently posted…Sad cat diary.My Profile

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