Forget Mint Juleps, I’m Into Mint Jelly

The Kentucky Derby was last Saturday and mint juleps are so five minutes ago.

So, what do you when the mint you planted last year pops up early this spring and takes over the herb garden?

You put on your best Julia Child or Martha Stewart hat and tackle the kitchen to make mint jelly and to spice things up, jalapeno-mint jelly.

Since I’ve never canned fruits or vegetables, I was a little apprehensive going into the challenge.

Friday, on my day off, with a 12-pack carton of 4-ounce jars, a box of fruit pectin, and my recipes in hand, I was ready to go.

As I harvested almost three cups of fresh mint, I wasn’t scared as excitement built as both pots of mint and water started boiling.

After the first boiling stage was done and the cooling process neared completion, I realized that I needed another box of pectin and another 12 small jars.  I ran down the street to Fareway and while they had the pectin, they didn’t have jars.  So, Wal-Mart came through for me and then it was onto the next phase of straining the mint and adding all the other ingredients for another boil before the final stage of putting my jelly in jars.

It was nice to hear the little lids popping as the jars sealed.  Now, the ultimate test would be to sample the jellies to see if it was edible.

I had a little of each flavor left over that would not fit into the jars.  Saturday morning with an English muffin, Ray and I both agree that both the mint and the jalapeno-mint passed the taste test.

I’m including both recipes because I know they work.

The only down side is that other than the pride of making tasty jelly, it really isn’t economical.  The two recipes made 19 four-ounce jars for about $28.  So, that came out to be about $1.47/jar.

The bottom line is that I love the fact that I was able to follow directions (a weakness of mine because I don’t like to do that) and I feel a sense of accomplishment.  I will likely tackle canning something else in the future.




Jalapeño Mint Jelly

1 3/4 cups finely chopped fresh mint, divided
1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp strained fresh lemon juice
2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin

Bring 1 1/2 cups of mint and water to a boil in a small saucepan.Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes to steep.

Strain through a lined sieve pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible; discard mint.

Combine mint liquid, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and peppers in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.

Bring to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat; stir in pectin and remaining mint.

Ladle into sterilized jars

*I added green food coloring although the recipe didn’t call for it.


1/2 c. mint leaves
1 1/4 c. boiling water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 c. sugar
1/2 c. Certo and green color

To mint leaves, add boiling water and lemon juice.
Let stand 1 hour.
Add sugar.
Bring to boiling point and strain.
Add Certo and green color to make delicate green.
Bring to the boiling point and boil hard for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and pour in jelly glasses.
To double the recipe, use 1 full bottle of Certo.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Larry Newingham on May 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    That’s cool


  2. You have to watch the sales for jars, and you use them over and over again! Once you taste your canned items in December/January you will be hooked. I have a wonderful receipe for Tomato Soup with tons of veggies in it. Also makes a terrific stock for a veggie soup or chili.


    • Becky,

      I will keep that in mind about the sale on jars. That soup recipe sounds great. Feel free to share it any time, unless it’s a secret family recipe.



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