18 Super-Fresh Cocktail Recipes to Make the Most of Mint

From veritable classics to newfangled concoctions, these mint-laced libations show why the herb is a bartender’s godsend

There's no herb more crucial to cocktailing than mint. For all its potency, the cooling, sweet leaf is exceedingly versatile in numerous styles of cocktails. Smash it with citrus in a bourbon refresher, muddle it with rum in a crushed-ice beauty, or shake it with cucumber in an herbal gin sipper. Whether you're a fan of dark spirits or clear, mint can bring some freshness to your boozing. In fairweather months, mint is even more crucial: think juleps, swizzles, and our favorite tropical and tiki drinks.

Sweet Talking Son Cocktail

Sweet Talking Son Cocktail
A cross between a sazerac and a whiskey smash, this cocktail recipe by Suffolk Arms head bartender Caitlin Ryan highlights the versatility of Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy, a brandy made in the American bourbon tradition. Unbeknownst to many, the traditional sazerac recipe called for brandy, as opposed to rye. Playing off Copper & Kings' musical ethos—all barrels are sonically-aged, with music used to agitate the spirit—the name of the cocktail comes from a line in Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man."Matt Taylor-Gross

Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet

Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet
This boozy gin cocktail uses up an abundance of mint, cucumber, and blackberries—it's summer in a highball. Get the recipe for Garden Kitchen Sink Gimlet »Matt Taylor-Gross

The Verbena and Mint

The Verbena and Mint Cocktail
Bar manager Jon di Pinto of Street ADL in Adelaide, South Australia, combines lemon verbena and gin for a crisp, refreshing summer cocktail. Get the recipe for The Verbena and Mint »Matt Taylor-Gross

Gin-Gin Mule

Gin-Gin Mule
This Moscow Mule variation is made with gin and mint. Get the recipe for Gin-Gin MuleIngalls Photography

Mint Julep with Rum Float

Mint Julep
For the perfect mint julep cocktail, smash your ice—but not your mint—then dress it up with a float of good dark rum. The rum is a nod to colonial days, when juleps were often rum-based, and with its barrel-aged character and slight sweetness, a great match for bourbon. Get the recipe for Mint Julep with Rum Float »Matt Taylor-Gross

Rio Julep Cocktail

Cachaca Rio Julep Cocktail
In this wintery cocktail from Spencer Shelton of Dallas' Bolsa, aged cachaça is tempered with herbal–bitter Cynar and sprightly grapefruit bitters. Get the recipe for Rio Julep Cocktail »Matt Taylor-Gross

Strawberry-Lillet Crush

Strawberry-Lillet Crush
Muddled strawberries and mint star in this refreshing, lightly sweet cocktail that packs a punch. Get the recipe for Strawberry-Lillet Crush »Farideh Sadeghin

The Saint

The Saint White Wine Cocktail
This white wine-based cocktail from Brooklyn, New York's Café Moto starts off summery, with the aromas of fresh basil and mint and an effervescent topper of club soda. Get the recipe for The Saint »Farideh Sadeghin

Devil's Garden

Devil's Garden
At first sip, lime juice and fresh mint refresh the taste buds, but soon the smoky and spicy undertones of chipotle-infused mezcal creep over the palate. A touch of Cynar, an unusual liqueur made from artichokes, adds a veil of mystery. Get the recipe for Devil's Garden »MacKenzie Smith

Strawberry Rhubarb Smash

Strawberry Rhubarb Smash
Sweet rhubarb syrup, strawberry and fresh mint combine with bourbon for a delicious spring-appropriate cocktail. Get the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Smash »Ganda Suthivarakom

Strawberry Moonshine Julep

Strawberry Moonshine Julep
White whiskey takes the place of bourbon in this summery interpretation of a julep. Get the recipe for Strawberry Moonshine Julep »Maxime Iattoni

Chartreuse Smash

Chartreuse Smash
This sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail is a terrific vehicle for Chartreuse; when we tested it, it converted even the most adamant opponents to the herbal, bright-green liqueur. Get the recipe for Chartreuse Smash »Maxime Iattoni

Billy's A Team

Billy's A Team
Inspired by Moneyball, this refreshing herbal drink gets it's money-green hue from muddled mint and basil. Get the recipe for Billy's A Team »MacKenzie Smith

Kentucky vs. Morocco Cocktail

Kentucky vs. Morocco Cocktail
This true tin-cup mint julep, from Toronto gastropub The Black Hoof, has a serious spice-bazaar kick. Get the recipe for Kentucky vs. Morocco Cocktail »Chuck Ortiz, acqtaste.com

Pineapple Mojito

Pineapple Mojito
This twist on a mojito combines pineapple- and coconut-infused rum with fresh pineapple and mint for a fruity, vacation-inspired drink. Get the recipe for Pineapple Mojito »Helen Rosner

The Wild Ruffian

The Wild Ruffian
Inspired by a recipe developed by mixologist Lynn House of the Chicago restaurant Blackbird, this is an ideal cocktail to show off the fruity side of Cognac. Peach preserves meld beautifully with the spirit's soft sweetness, while mint adds a bright finish. Get the recipe for The Wild Ruffian »Maxime Iattoni

Swedish Mint Julep

Swedish Mint Julep
In addition to using caraway and dill—the most traditional flavors for aquavit—in Sweden, home cooks make the spirit with an infinite variety of spices, herbs, and other flavorful botanicals. Get the recipe for Swedish Mint JulepHelen Rosner

The Poddington Pea

The Poddington Pea
Peas might seem out of place in a drink, but their vegetal sweetness is perfect for this basil-gin cocktail. Get the recipe for The Poddington PeaJoseph De Leo

Fresh Mint Simple Syrup

Fresh Mint
The ultimate in freshness, use this syrup to freshen a glass of lemon- or limeade, or whip it into cream for a dessert topping. Get the recipe for Fresh Mint Simple SyrupIngalls Photography