If you do it right, you could stretch your mint stash for another month.

Rachel Roszmann
August 20, 2020
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Pictured Recipe: Cucumber-Mint Spritzer

No matter how ambitious the cook, it seems like there are never enough ways to use mint before it wilts. As with many herbs, fresh mint has a very short shelf life, but you can extend it with a few different storing methods. Here, we'll tell you how to store fresh mint four different ways so it doesn't go to waste, plus two ways to freeze your fresh mint.

On the Counter

You can leave fresh mint on the counter in a bit of water. This method requires the least amount of effort.

  • Fill a small jar or glass with water.
  • Trim the ends of the mint stems.
  • Place the mint in the water like you would put flowers in a vase.
  • Store the mint on the counter.

If you change the water when it gets cloudy, the mint should last about a week.

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In the Refrigerator

This method works really well, but requires a little more engineering.

  • Fill a small jar or glass with water.
  • Trim the ends of the mint stems.
  • Place the mint in the water like you would put flowers in a vase.
  • Place a plastic bag loosely around the top of the leaves like a tent.
  • Store the mint in the refrigerator.

You don't have to change the water with this method. The leaves may start to droop a little after a week, but they should stay nice and green (and usable) for about three weeks.

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Paper Towel and Plastic Bag

This method works well too—and skips the jar of water.

  • Rinse mint and pat dry.
  • Wrap the mint leaves in moistened paper towels (not too wet, just moist).
  • Place the wrapped mint in a zip-top bag, but don't seal it. Sealing it could lock in too much moisture.
  • Store the mint in the refrigerator.

Your mint won't have the same snap as it did when you bought it, but it will remain fresh and green for at least three weeks with this method.

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Paper Towel and an Airtight Container

This method works nicely and storing the mint in a container helps protect it from being bruised and battered by other items in the refrigerator. But because the container is closed, moisture can build up so this method shaves about a week off of the storage time compared to the method above.

  • Rinse mint and pat dry.
  • Wrap in moistened paper towels (not wet or damp).
  • Place in an airtight container.
  • Store the mint in the refrigerator.

The leaves will stay green with this method for about two weeks.

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How to Freeze Fresh Mint

In Ice Cubes

You can also freeze mint, but don't expect your frozen mint sprigs to turn out the same as they were when they were fresh. Frozen mint can still be used in sauces and drinks.

  • Rinse mint and pat dry.
  • Chop the leaves.
  • Distribute the chopped mint among the compartments of an ice cube tray.
  • Fill the tray with water.
  • Place in the freezer overnight.
  • Remove the cubes and place in a container or zip-top bags.
  • Store in the freezer.

You can keep these in the freezer for up to six months, which makes the ice cube method practical, but uses are limited—thawing the cubes (place the cubes in a strainer over a bowl to drain the water) results in a soggy pile of mint. Rather than thawing mint ice cubes, keep them in cube form to use in smoothies or to chill a glass of lemonade.

Cucumber-Mint Spritzer

On a Baking Sheet

With a baking sheet, you can freeze whole fresh mint leaves to preserve their shape, making it easy to snip with kitchen shears when you're ready to use it—no thawing required.

  • Rinse mint and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
  • Spread the mint on a baking sheet or a plate and put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the mint from the freezer and place in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
  • Store in the freezer.

Now that you know how to store mint, here are a few ways you can use it.