Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
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realitymama
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Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by realitymama » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:07 pm

We are making drinks that require fresh mint this year for the first time. I know keeping them fresh can be done I am just not sure what the best way to do this is. Any advice anybody?

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Eric
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by Eric » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:27 pm

Most likely they would need to be refrigerated, possibly with a multi-fridge or cooler set up (move the current days mint from the "storage" unit to the "daily" unit so that the door isn't being constantly opened & the storage fridge has time to keep the plants at temperature.) Keep them in the "breathable" bags as well, or in the container you bought them in. You will not be able to bring them in as live plants, so you'll probably want to buy packaged fresh mint in the produce dept of most large groceries.

NOTE: If this is for a drink you'll be serving to the public, you'll absolutely need to get a Nevada Health Permit to do so. No food or drink containing fresh ingredients can be served to the public without one (that even includes things like adding a lime wedge, so mint would definitely be included). Inspectors are on playa, and they will shut you down if you don't have one. It's $50 to get, and they're extremely helpful and nice. They might even have tips for you.
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Wigwam
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by Wigwam » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:31 pm

What are you making?
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GreyCoyote
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by GreyCoyote » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:37 pm

realitymama wrote:We are making drinks that require fresh mint this year for the first time. I know keeping them fresh can be done I am just not sure what the best way to do this is. Any advice anybody?
Eric really nailed it: Mint is notoriously hard to keep in the desert. The only way we have found is damp storage under refrigeration, and even this is a compromise. Its a toughie!

Can you possibly use mint extract? We have found it works great for drinks and tastes better. For drinks like a mint julep, the concentrate is excellent and has none of the turpines found in innmint leaves.

One point: if you are using concentrate, and NOT fresh mint, you may not need a food permit. Call the Nevada Health folks and double-check. The concentrate is 70% ethanol, and may qualify for an exemption.
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by Wigwam » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:41 pm

Anyone in Dementhe? They had a uhmazing group last year and they served mojitos with mint. They could give some tips, I'm guessing.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:01 pm

Not sure about "I know it can be done."

Contact the Black Rock Farmers Market - More Carrot and see if you can find a bulk grocery supplier source in Reno. Never know who might bring items in mid-week, even by air - mint is light, but it is also wilty.
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A-RockLeFrench
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:44 pm

Well, De Menthe has fresh mint mojito's almost all week, so yes it can be done.

How easy is it though? Mint sprigs stored like cut flowers (standing upright in a little water, not wrapped) will stay fresh for days if not a week under refrigeration.

I'd try mint sprigs wrapped in an ever so slightly damp paper towel sealed in a ziploc bag placed on top of the ice in a cooler. You have some time to experiment now before you attempt the real deal.

However GC may have found an interesting loophole. Extract is much easier to deal with, and none of that muddled mint chinks stuck in your teeth sensation, unless that's the authentic minty drink feel you guys are going for...

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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by Jackass » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:49 pm

Smoke them before they dry out, duh
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Eric
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by Eric » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:01 pm

A-RockLeFrench wrote:However GC may have found an interesting loophole. Extract is much easier to deal with, and none of that muddled mint chinks stuck in your teeth sensation, unless that's the authentic minty drink feel you guys are going for...
It would probably also get around the requirement for the Health Dep't licence as well, since it's a packaged "beverage" instead of something fresh that can spoil.
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[jim]
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by [jim] » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:43 pm

if the burners that visit your minty drink camp are anything like the ones that visit mine... a larger majority of them will be emptying their mugs (if they even have them) of mint dregs on your playa for you to moop later.

It's their gift to you for providing them with an awesome drink experience! :evil:

maladroit
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by maladroit » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:59 pm

You can buy dried or freeze-dried mint. Might be a good compromise since this is happening in the middle of a desert...worth testing at least.

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danibel
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Re: Keeping Herbs Fresh on the Playa

Post by danibel » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:48 pm

[jim] wrote:if the burners that visit your minty drink camp are anything like the ones that visit mine... a larger majority of them will be emptying their mugs (if they even have them) of mint dregs on your playa for you to moop later.

It's their gift to you for providing them with an awesome drink experience! :evil:
If you move forward with fresh mint - plan on a five gallon bucket with tight lid for composting the "remains." I use one in my kitchen every year, they are great!
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