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Mint is typically found in teas, cocktails and hot holiday beverages and desserts, but its presence is growing, particularly as Vietnamese food grows in popularity. Mint typically accompanies many of that cuisine’s spicy dishes, but it’s also no stranger to Mediterranean food. That fact was borne out at last year’s Food & Wine Best New Chefs Party in New York City, at which celebrity chef Scot Conant served roasted rabbit with herbed spätale, parsnip and mint, and Michael Symon made yogurt cavatelli with lamb Bolognese and mint.

mint

Although that was last year, it usually takes a while for such trend-forward dishes to move into the mainstream. And this year it’s already appearing in unexpected places, like beer.

Dennis Marron, the chef of Poste Modern Brasserie in Washington, D.C., is growing hops in his herb garden so local brewers can make custom beer for him, but recently those beer makers are looking past his hops.

“Now all the local breweries are like, ‘Hey, can we get some mint’,” he said.

And mint julep variations are already showing up on cocktail lists, such as in BD’s Samurai Smash, which is made with Bourbon, huckleberry syrup, mint and club soda. You can expect to see more examples of this refreshing herb put to surprising uses soon.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary