The first time I had a Perrier menthe was the day we arrived in Lourmarin in Provence. The couple from which we rented our townhouse took us on a tour of the town to show us where to buy bread, the restaurants they liked, where the grocery store was, the bank, etc.
The way Lourmarin is laid out makes it easy to do a loop around the town on the main roads and end up back at a little square where a few cafés meet. It is the perfect spot for people-watching.
It was late August and wonderfully hot outside--at least to me. Our hosts chose a café owned by one of their friends and suggested we have Perrier menthes. Mint syrup and Perrier. That's it. I had never heard of it before, but they assured us it was delicious.
The drinks arrived in tall glasses with long spoons, dark green mint syrup at the bottom, and a bottle of Perrier on the side. I poured my water into the glass, gave it a stir, and took a sip of the bright green liquid.
It was delicious. Cool, refreshing, sparkling, and slightly sweet. The mint was just prevalent enough give me a nice cooling sensation on my lips and tongue.
Since that day, I haven't been able to get enough Perrier menthes. Even my dad, who hates mint, really likes these. They are perfect for summer and a little different from the usual.
Lately, as the heat rises and the days get longer, I find myself craving them. Although I can't be in Provence right now (despite some really good attempts at teleportation), I can bring a bit of Provence to me by making these.
Here's what you need:
- Perrier (or your favorite sparkling mineral water)
- Mint/menthe verte syrup. I'm using Chateau Thierry crème de menthe syrup right now. Teisseire is a popular brand in France but I haven't found it here yet. I love the green color, but I'm sure you could use a clear syrup or make your own if you want to be different.
- A pretty glass
- Ice (optional/if you are one of those ridiculous North Americans who must have ice)
I like ice and my Perrier was fresh off the store shelf and hot. So, ice it was.
The general recommendations are 1 oz of syrup to 7-9 oz of Perrier. Just play with the ratios until you find what tastes good to you. I tend to like mine a little less sweet, so I'm probably closer to the 1:9 ratio.
Optional: Put on a white linen shirt and some khakis or a white linen dress, top your head with a Panama hat of some kind, and sip slowly while pretending you are at a café.
- Menthe à l'eau - using still water instead of Perrier. I'm also sure club soda would be fine if you prefer it.
- Diabolo menthe - mint syrup and lemonade or 7Up/Sprite. I haven't tried this yet but I've seen both lemonade and Sprite/7Up mentioned.
- Test out another flavor. Mint seemed to be the most popular syrup when I was in Provence but most cafés had lists of other available flavors too.