What is mint sauce?
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What is mint sauce?

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It’s the perfect accompaniment to succulent roast lamb, which for many of us, just wouldn’t be the same without the fresh and tangy flavours of this green, minty dressing.

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What is mint sauce made from?

Mint sauce is a combination of finely chopped spearmint leaves soaked in vinegar, with the addition of a small amount of sugar, sometimes with a splash of lime or lemon juice to add a nice bit of extra zest.

Lamb can be quite fatty, so the sharp taste of mint and vinegar helps to cut through that fattiness.

Although mint sauce is very popular in Britain and Ireland, it was in fact introduced to Britain by the Romans. Various other herb-based green sauces were common throughout Europe in Medieval times, and mint was more common in French and Italian dishes of the period than in England.

What is mint sauce used for?

Delicious mint sauce is often served as a dressing with roasted meats. Like many other things, it’s all a matter of personal taste. In some areas mint sauce is even rumoured to be dished up with mushy peas!

The most well known and traditional combination is of course, a minted lamb roast dinner, but there’s more to this combination than you might think…

A taste of science.

The fact that lamb is traditionally served with fresh mint in recipes, originating in places as far apart as England and the Middle East, actually has scientific reasons to explain why these two ingredients go together so well.

Roasted lamb owes its unique flavour to the release of volatile aroma compounds in the fat during cooking, most of which are known as branched-chain fatty acids. And mint just happens to be rich in branched-chain ketones, which are chemically related to lamb’s BCFAs. So, in a scientific sense, lamb and mint are an ideal match.

How to make mint sauce.

It’s really quick and easy to prepare with just a few simple ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Step by step guide:

  1. Pull the leaves from the stalk of the mint and roughly chop the leaves.
  2. Place the chopped mint leaves in a heatproof jug, sprinkle over the sugar, then pour over the boiling water. Stir gently and put to one side to cool.
  3. When cool, stir in the vinegar and taste the sauce. If too strong, add a little more water. If too weak, add more mint.
  4. Leave for 20 minutes to allow the mint flavour to mix with the sugar-vinegar, then serve with the lamb.

If covered, mint sauce will last for two weeks in the fridge.

If you’d prefer to stay out of the kitchen, why not try our delicious Gardeners Mint Sauce?

How to use mint sauce with lamb

Roast lamb with a zesty fresh mint sauce makes a simply unbeatable Easter weekend feast, ideally served up with roasties and your favourite spring vegetables.

Why not try our simply mouth-watering Minted Roast Lamb recipe? Prepare tender lamb shoulder with an exquisite blend of garlic, rosemary and fresh lemon and roast low and slow until the meat is beautifully cooked.

Serve with an indulgent homemade gravy using the meat’s juices and top with deliciously refreshing Cottage Delight Mint Sauce for the ultimate spring dish.

If you fancy something a little different, why not try our scrumptious Lamb Lollipop Recipe? This super simple way to enjoy the winning combination of lamb and mint sauce is sure to be a hit with children and adults alike!

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Our mint sauce

It’s mint to be!

We created our classic Gardeners Mint Sauce to give it a tantalisingly sharp-yet-sweet taste by carefully blending cider vinegar, hand-tended mint, sugar, corn flour, salt, and concentrated lemon juice. We think you’ll find the result is the perfect balance of ingredients to complement a lovely traditional lamb roast, not to mention a host of other meats.

  • No artificial additives
  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Suitable for Vegans
  • Gluten-Free
  • 205g


If you don’t have any of the key Cottage Delight ingredients but love the recipe, perhaps you have one of these tasty alternatives in your kitchen cupboards instead?

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