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National Mint Julep Day: Why DO We Use Mint for Fresh Breath?

Make Mine Mint - National Mint Julep DayReady for some Excite-mint?

Everyone knows that the best route to the freshest breath on the go is a little minty freshness. Whether that’s a popping in an Altoid, chomping on some Trident or using some TUNG Gel, Mint is the go-to for fresh breath. But do you know where we first got the idea?

Rumor has it that for the ancient Greeks, mint represented hospitality — they would crush the leaves and spread them on their table to give the dining room a pleasant, inviting odor. In the Middle East, families greet welcome visitors to their homes with mint tea. The Minoans were the first to bring mint-infused recipes to the British Isles. And the Europeans saw it as a welcome sign when they landed on the shores of what would become America and discovered mint already growing in the New World.

Betcha didn’t know that today is National Mint Julep Day! The first time most of us probably heard about a mint julep was in a Tennessee Williams play or in the pages of The Great Gatsby. But the drink’s most well known these days as the official potent potable of the Kentucky Derby.

Mmm. The refined taste of fine Kentucky bourbon, the bracing hint of refreshing mint, the icy coolness of the metal glass pressed to your hot skin…

Oh! You’re still here? Sorry about that!

In case you were wondering, the word Julep comes from a Persian word for rose water, and the earliest use for julep was as the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. But, well, you know how Southerners are about their alcohol.

An interesting tidbit most people don’t know – the reason mint freshens your breath is because it breaks down the bacteria that causes bad breath – just like our TUNG Brush and Gel do! Sucking on mints can help, (check out this note on what to avoid in a breath mint), but the most effective way to minty fresh breath is to chew the leaves.

So, despite the sugary alcohol content, maybe a mint julep is the BEST thing for your fresh breath. Go ahead, knock it back, chew the leaves and then plant one on the person next to you… Assuming that person is your date for the evening, that is. 

Did you decide you want to make a mint julep for your National Mint Julep day festivities? Here’s a classic mint julep recipe for you!



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