Discover the 7 Best Mint Substitutes & How to Use Them in Your Cooking

Mint is a versatile herb used in various cuisines worldwide. From salads to soups, beverages to desserts, mint is a go-to ingredient for many recipes. 

However, it’s not always readily available in the kitchen.

So, what to do when you’re out of mint or looking for a suitable substitute? We’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top seven best mint substitutes, how to use them, and the measurement ratio to get it just right.

What is mint, and what does mint taste like?

Mint is a fragrant, aromatic herb that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It has several species and varieties, including peppermint, spearmint, apple mint and watermint.

Mint leaves have a refreshing flavor that typically combines sweetness and mistiness with coolness. Its taste can be described as sweet with a touch of menthol or pepper spice.

In short, " What can I use instead of mint ?"

Basil, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Cilantro, Fennel, Tarragon, Peppermint Extract.

Uses of mint 

Mint is an incredibly versatile herb that can be used in a variety of ways. One of its most famous benefits is as a flavoring agent for culinary dishes, such as salads, sauces, and desserts.

Mint has a refreshing flavor that can instantly brighten up any meal. It also adds a unique flavor to drinks, particularly cocktails and iced teas.

In addition to food and beverage applications, mint is also widely utilized as an essential oil for aromatherapy.

The oil contains menthol, which has soothing properties that can help alleviate stress and aid in relaxation.

Other medicinal uses of mint include helping with digestion, relieving muscle aches and pains, and even preventing the development of dangerous bacteria in the mouth. 

Mint has even been shown to act as an insect repellent; when applied topically, it can ward off mosquitos and other bugs!

With all these awesome benefits, it’s no wonder why people have been using mint for centuries.

Where to buy mint?

If you are searching for a few places to buy mint, you can go to a few different places. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores

You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of mint.

Best mint substitutes with a ratio

1. Basil – a good mint substitute

basil is excellent mint substitute

Basil has a similar flavor profile to mint, with a slight peppery sweetness. It’s often used in Mediterranean and Italian dishes, but it also pairs nicely with citrus and berries.

Basil is an excellent substitute for mint in cocktails, syrups, and sauces.

For example, add a few basil leaves instead of mint to a mojito, and you’ll still have a refreshing drink.

Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting basil for mint.

2. Lemon Balm – similar to mint

Lemon balm is a citrus-flavored herb that’s a member of the mint family. It has a delicate lemon flavor that works well in teas, desserts, and salads.

Lemon balm is an ideal substitute for mint in lemonade, fruit salads, and even as a garnish for your seafood dishes.

Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting lemon balm for mint.

3. Try Rosemary in place of mint

rosemary is good alternate for mint

Rosemary has a robust, earthy flavor that’s often used in hearty dishes.

While it may not be the first substitute that comes to your senses when you think of mint alternatives, rosemary can provide a unique taste in cocktails and desserts. 

For instance, replace mint with rosemary in a gin and tonic, sprinkle it over honeydew melon slices, or add rosemary to vanilla or chocolate ice cream for a twist.

Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:2 ratio when substituting rosemary for mint.

4. Cilantro – similar to mint

Cilantro is another herb that shares the mint familyIt has a fresh, citrusy flavor that complements Thai, Mexican, and Indian dishes.

Cilantro is a fantastic substitute for mint in salsa, guacamole, and chutneys. If you like to add some green to your salad, use cilantro instead of mint.

Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting cilantro for mint.

5. Fennel – a tasty mint alternative

fennel is nice mint replacement

Fennel has a licorice flavor that can be overwhelming if used too much.

However, when used in moderation or as a substitute for mint, it adds a pleasant, refreshing sweetness. Use fennel as a mint substitute in salads, dressings, and herbal tea.

Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:3 ratio when substituting fennel for mint.

6. Tarragon – similar to mint

Tarragon is a herb with a licorice-like flavor and a hint of anise.

It’s frequently used in French cuisine and in dishes with seafood or chicken. Tarragon can also be an excellent substitution for mint in salad dressings, cocktails, and vinegar.

Ratio or measurement: Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting tarragon for mint.

7. Peppermint Extract – a decent mint replacement

peppermint extract is ideal substitute for mint

If you’re entirely out of mint, don’t worry. Peppermint extract is an ideal alternative to fresh mint.

Although it won’t provide the same mouthfeel as fresh mint, it still imparts a similar flavor. 

Use peppermint extract to flavor ice creams, baked goods, and syrups. Start with a few drops and modify to taste.

Substitute for mint in a mojito

A mojito is a refreshing cocktail typically made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint.

While mint is a classic ingredient in mojitos, it can be substituted for other herbs that have a similar flavor profile.

For instance, you could combine fresh basil and rosemary to give the mojito a unique twist. 

The basil adds herbal sweetness and floral notes, while the rosemary contributes an earthy flavor with hints of lemon and pepper.

Both herbs pair nicely with the lime juice, adding depth to the drink without overwhelming its delicate balance of sweet and tart flavors.

Mint substitute in mint julep

A mint julep is a traditional Southern cocktail made with simple ingredients, such as mint leaves, sugar, and bourbon.

For those who prefer a non-alcoholic version of this classic drink, it can be made with a mint syrup substitute instead. 

This syrup is created by simmering sugar and water together until the desired consistency is reached.

Once cooled, fresh mint leaves are then added to the syrup for both flavor and color. 

To make the julep, simply fill a glass with crushed ice, add 2 ounces of the mint syrup substitute, top off with club soda and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Enjoy this refreshing concoction on a hot summer day for an incredibly flavorful experience!

Substitute for mint in cocktails

1. Cilantro

This fragrant herb is an excellent substitute for mint in cocktails and gives dishes a unique flavor that is both spicy and citrusy.

The ratio for using cilantro as a substitute for mint can vary depending on the drink being made.

Ratio or measurement: Generally, use 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro in place of 1 teaspoon of mint.

2. Basil

For those looking to add an herbal complexity to their cocktails, basil may be the perfect choice.

Unlike most herbs, basil has a sweet flavor with notes of anise and cloves, which brings a unique taste to drinks.

Ratio or measurement: When substituting basil for mint, use one tablespoon of fresh or frozen basil leaves per teaspoon of fresh mint called for in the recipe.

3. Tarragon

With its bold flavor and slightly peppery finish, tarragon makes an ideal substitute for mint in some cocktails.

To achieve the best results when substituting tarragon for mint, use one tablespoon of finely chopped tarragon per teaspoon of fresh mint required by the recipe.

4. Rosemary

This pungent herb adds an unmistakable kick to any cocktail that calls for mint as an ingredient.

When substituting rosemary for mint, utilize half as much as you would with other herbs; one-half teaspoon of dried rosemary or one tablespoon of fresh rosemary will provide sufficient flavor without overpowering the drink’s other ingredients.

5. Lemon Verbena

This lemony herb gives off a bright aroma when added to drinks and can be used as a great substitution for mint in certain recipes.

Use one tablespoon each of freshly chopped lemon verbena leaves or two teaspoons of dried lemon verbena leaves per teaspoon of fresh mint called for in the recipe when substituting this fragrant herb forming in your drinks.

Substitute for mint in tabbouleh

One of the best substitutes for mint in tabbouleh is dill. Dill is a fragrant herb with a flavor that pairs well with various vegetables, making it an ideal ingredient in tabbouleh.

It has a sweet and soothing taste that complements the other ingredients, adding depth to the overall flavor profile. 

When substituting dill for mint, use about 1/3 the amount of dill as you would mint; this ratio will ensure that the flavor remains balanced.

Another substitute for mint in tabbouleh is parsley. Parsley is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine and provides a delightful aroma and flavor to tabbouleh.

Its bright green leaves bring color to the dish as well as vibrant flavor notes, making it an excellent choice when looking for alternatives to mint.

Use two parts parsley for every one part of mint when substituting in this ratio.

A third great substitution for mint in tabbouleh is cilantro. Cilantro has a distinct citrus-like quality that adds zest and freshness to any dishes it’s included in, especially salads like tabbouleh.

When using cilantro as a replacement, use half the amount as you would with mint; this ratio will provide just enough flavor without overpowering the dish.

Substitute mint leaves in biryani

Mint leaves are a key ingredient in biryani, as their refreshing flavor and subtle aroma add a unique layer of complexity to the dish.

However, if they are not available, other herbs, such as cilantro or Italian parsley, can be used instead.

Cilantro is commonly utilized in Indian cuisine and has a slightly peppery taste that works perfectly with the spicy curries often found in biryani. 

Italian parsley is also an excellent substitute for mint leaves as it has a mild yet flavorful taste.

Both herbs will provide depth and enhance the flavor of your biryani without compromising its integrity or authenticity.

Additionally, fresh ginger and garlic can be used to give biryani recipes additional zip and zing while providing warmth and spiciness.

Substitute for mint in tzatziki

In place of mint in tzatziki, a variety of other herbs may be used. Fresh dill or parsley are both popular alternatives, as their delicate flavors can bring out the taste of yogurt and cucumber.

Other herbs, such as cilantro and oregano, may also be used to add some complexity to the flavor profile. For a more subtle version, try adding freshly chopped chives instead. 

All these herbs should be finely chopped before being mixed into the yogurt mixture for a smooth texture.

Finally, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to finish off your delicious tzatziki dip!

mint jelly substitute for lamb

Mint jelly is a popular accompaniment to lamb dishes, but if you’re looking for an alternative to mint jelly, there are plenty of options.

Here are five of the best mint jelly substitutes for lamb that you should consider:

1. Apple Jelly

Apple jelly has a sweet-tart flavor that matches well with the savory flavors of roasted lamb.

To make it more similar to mint jelly, add some chopped, refreshed mint leaves or a few drops of peppermint extract when cooking it. 

You can also combine apple jelly with other fruit jellies such as pear or raspberry.

2. Apricot Jam

Apricot jam is another great option for pairing with roasted lamb due to its subtle sweetness and tartness.

For greater flavor complexity, mix equal parts apricot jam and orange marmalade when preparing it as a substitute for mint jelly.

3. Red Currant Jelly

Red currant jelly is made from the red currant berry, which has a slightly tart savor with a hint of sweetness, creating it ideal for pairing with roasted lamb dishes.

To bring out the sweetness of this jelly, add a few tablespoons of honey while cooking it.

4. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a tart-sweet sauce that is perfect for pairing with roasted lamb. It can be made with fresh cranberries or bought in canned form from the store.

It adds sweetness and tang to roasted lamb dishes, making it a great substitute for mint jelly.

5. Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri sauce is a Latin American herb-based condiment that usually contains parsley, garlic, cilantro, oregano, and olive oil.

The combination of herbs gives it a unique flavor that pairs nicely with the rich flavors of roasted lamb. 

To make your own chimichurri sauce, combine all the ingredients in a food processor, mixer or blender till you have reached your desired consistency.

6. Mint Chutney

Though chutneys contain more spices than mint jelly, their use with lamb is still quite common in some cultures.

If you choose to swap out the mint jelly for chutney, the ratio should be about 1:3; this allows enough chutney to be used without saturating the dish with spices or overwhelming the flavor of the meat.

7. Honey-Mustard Sauce

For those who favor savory over sweet flavors in their meals, the honey-mustard sauce may be a preferable option to replace mint jelly on lamb dishes.

The tangy mustard tones down the sweetness of honey while still providing some depth that complements the taste of lamb beautifully; usually, between 3 parts honey and 4 parts mustard are used when making this type of sauce at home.

Although this can vary depending on preference!

mint extract substitute

Mint extract is a versatile ingredient that can use as an alternative to sugar in many recipes.

Unlike sugar, mint extract has an incredibly low glycemic index, providing sweet flavor without the spike in blood sugar levels associated with other sweeteners.

Additionally, the ratio recommended for substituting mint extract for sugar depends on the desired intensity of flavor: typically 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract to 1 cup of sugar. 

As such, this ratio should be adjusted to suit individual tastes.

The mint extract can be used in baking and cooking applications alike, making it ideal for creating healthier versions of traditional indulgent treats such as cakes and cookies.

For added health benefits, several brands also include other ingredients, such as stevia or monk fruit, in their blends.

Peruvian black mint substitute

1. Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs are a great substitute for Peruvian black mint with a ratio of 1:1. They have a bitter, chocolatey flavor and can be used as an accent in any recipe that calls for Peruvian black mint.

As cocoa nibs are made from pure unroasted cocoa beans, they contain more antioxidants than roasted cocoa beans, making them a healthier alternative to Peruvian black mint.

2. Coconut flakes

Coconut flakes have a sweetness similar to that of black mint but with an added nutty flavor. The ratio is approximately 1/2 cup of coconut flakes for every 1 teaspoon of Peruvian black mint,

with the sweetness of coconut flakes being slightly stronger than that of black mint, so it may need adjusting accordingly.

3. Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds make a perfect substitute for Peruvian black mint when ground into a powder and used in small amounts (less than or equal to 1 tablespoon).

The strong coffee flavor adds depth and character to dishes without overwhelming them – the ratio is 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds per teaspoon of Peruvian black mint for best results.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon makes another great substitute for Peruvian black mint with a ratio of 1/4 teaspoon per teaspoon, as it adds an intense spicy-sweet flavor to dishes without overpowering them like other substitutes may do.

As cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, it is also beneficial when added to recipes containing other spices like chili or cayenne pepper, where the heat can sometimes be too much to handle!

5. Allspice

Allspice is one of the best alternatives for Peruvian Black Mint because it retains its unique aroma and flavor but at a lower intensity.

You can use it in equal ratios compared to the amount needed for Black Mint or even reduce it by half per teaspoon, depending on your preferences. 

Allspice imparts sweet and savory notes along with hints of clove and cinnamon, which perfectly complements many Latin American dishes that require Black Mint as part of their ingredients list.

mint syrup substitute

1. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a great substitute for mint syrup due to its sweet and earthy flavor. It has a similar consistency and can use in many recipes that call for mint syrup.

To use maple syrup as a substitute, mix it with an equal ratio of water or lemon juice to thin it out and add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract to give it the minty flavor you need.

2. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a great substitute for mint syrup because it has a natural sweetness and light floral taste. 

When used as a substitution, start using an equal ratio of agave nectar to water or lemon juice to thin it out. Then, add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract to give your dish the desired minty flavor.

3. Honey

Honey is one of the best alternatives for mint syrup due to its naturally sweet flavor profile and thick consistency similar to that found in mint syrups.

To achieve the same minty flavor, simply mix honey with an equal ratio of water or lemon juice and then add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract for additional flavoring.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can use as a substitute for mint syrup due to its tartness, which gives an added complexity of flavors when used in combination with other ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

To use apple cider vinegar as a replacement, merge equal parts apple cider vinegar and water along with 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract for additional flavoring before adding into your recipe instead of regular mint syrup.

5. Lime Juice

Lime juice is another great substitution option when looking for something to replace regular mint syrups.

As it can provide extra acidity while still imparting some sweetness into your dish if mixed with sugar or honey before being added to your recipe instead of the usual mint syrup called for in your instructions.

For an exact substitution, try combining equal parts lime juice and water as well as adding 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract per cup being substituted into the recipe for that perfect combination of flavors!

How to Choose the Most Suitable Substitution Option for Mint 

When selecting a suitable substitution option for mint in recipes, consider the following tips:

Flavor Profile: Mint has a distinct and refreshing flavor. Look for alternatives that can replicate or complement this flavor.

Options such as peppermint extract, spearmint extract, or even fresh herbs like basil or cilantro can provide similar aromatic and cooling notes to your dish.

Fresh vs. Dried: Determine whether the recipe calls for fresh mint or dried mint. If it requires fresh mint leaves, you can substitute with other fresh herbs that have a similar aroma and taste.

If dried mint is called for, consider using dried herbs like dried spearmint or dried peppermint.

Recipe Compatibility: Consider how the substitute will complement the other ingredients in your recipe.

Mint is commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes, so choose a substitute that aligns well with the overall flavor profile of your recipe.

For example, if mint is used in a dessert, you may want to opt for a sweeter herb or extract.

Intensity: Mint can range in intensity, from mild to strong. Adjust the quantity of the substitute based on the desired level of mint flavor in your dish.

Start with a smaller amount and gradually add more if needed, tasting as you go.

Experiment and Adjust: Conduct small tests by substituting the mint with your chosen alternative in a small portion of the recipe. Taste and assess the impact on flavor and overall satisfaction.

Adjust the quantities or make any necessary modifications based on your taste preferences and the desired outcome.

Consider Other Flavor Enhancers: If you’re unable to find a suitable substitute for mint, you can explore other flavor enhancers like lemon zest, citrus extracts, or even spices like cardamom or cinnamon, depending on the recipe and desired flavor profile.

Conclusion on mint substitute

Having the perfect substitute for a mint when it’s not available can save your recipe from being a disaster. 

Basil, lemon balm, rosemary, cilantro, fennel, tarragon, and peppermint extract are all great choices, depending on what you’re cooking. 

Remember to use the right ratio when substituting so you don’t end up with a completely different taste. 

Try experimenting with these mint alternatives in your favored recipes and see how they turn out. Happy cooking!

FAQs on mint substitute

Q1. What is similar to mint?

Mint is similar to other herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley. They all have a refreshing fragrance and flavor that makes them popular in cooking.

Additionally, they are all aromatic herbs with medicinal properties that can help promote digestion and alleviate nausea.

Q2. How do I substitute dried mint for fresh?

To substitute dried mint for fresh, use about one-third as much as the recipe need. For example, if a recipe requires 1 tablespoon of fresh mint leaves, you would replace it with 1 teaspoon of dried mint.

Additionally, you can add the dried herb to your dish near the beginning of cooking and allow it to rehydrate in liquid ingredients like sauces or soups. This will ensure that all its flavor is released into your dish.

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