Why should a bar, or a serious cocktail enthusiast, grow their own mint?
1. Cocktails use a lot of mint. A lot.
The answer is quite obvious: bars are using a lot of mint. And mint is quite delicate - that means, transporting it will take its toll. But further: house-grown mint would need less processing (washing, storing, etc).
2. Fresher mint tastes better.
Mint stores most of its aromatics in microscopic hairs beneath the leaves. During transport, it looses a lot of these hairs, and the aroma is lost forever. Even using a sophisticated system to revive mint and keep it for along time will not change that this mint will taste only like a shadow of freshly harvested mint!
3. Mint grows like a weed.
I admit, if you first of all plant mint, it seems a bit of a delicate thing. But after it has grown, you hardly need a green thumb for it — it grows like crazy! I have mint on my balcony, and it suffocates all other plants... parsley, rosemary and basil are surviving... but definitely not thriving. The other herbs just can't survive because the mint is basically everywhere.
You don't even need an outdoor space to grow your own! Hydroponic systems are quite efficient and easy to maintain, and mint is an ideal crop. See this video for details.
In existing bars, it's a tall order to retrofit with a full hydroponic setup or even a few mint pods. But if the bar designer takes a fresh herb program into account during the design phase, it could be a unique focal point for the bar. You'd need to plan for alternate lighting — optimal growing light is bright and rather cold — swapped out for ambient and-less intense light in the evening. Some of the off-the-shelf options are downright stunning. The rotating hydroponic system shown above was co-developed by NASA and looks like it teleported out of Star Trek!
Why settle for interior features of bars that are all form and no function beyond making the bar "interesting". Instead, we should focus on bringing items into bars that look gorgeous and serve a purpose. And a mint hydroponic system would absolutely fit the bill.