Mint Julep

By • April 15, 2014 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: For the sweetener, make a rich sugar syrup by heating 2 parts by volume sugar with 1 part by volume water until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is just simmering. Throw in as many mint leaves as will fit in the pan (it isn’t expensive, don’t be cheap) and turn off the heat, stir to mix in the leaves, then allow to cool to room temp, a couple of hours. Strain the syrup off the leaves into a clean jar, it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks (if it even lasts that long, mine never does).

For spirit, bourbon is the choice par excellence, but the original was made with anything from rum (Jamaican please) to brandy. In fact, if you can find REAL peach brandy, that is, spirit distilled from fermented peaches and aged in wood barrels (not a sweetened cordial) a julep made from a combination of that and either bourbon or brandy is an absolute knockout. It’s tough to find nowadays but not impossible.

Execution couldn’t be simpler: Combine the ingredients in a fancy-schmancy julep cup if you have it, a cheater tin if you don’t, or a double old-fashioned glass if you must. Fill with crushed ice and stir until ice forms on the outside, with all that crushed ice it won’t take long. Ice out of an ice crusher is fine, but even better is ice crushed in a canvas bag with a wooden mallet, or for the budget minded, a kitchen towel with a rolling pin. This ice takes on more of a snowy consistency and is absolutely beautiful. Once the ice has formed on the outside of the vessel, top with additional ice into a cone and add an irresponsible (again, don’t be cheap) amount of fresh mint tops. Trim a straw down so that you have to bury your nose in mint to drink and sip slowly in the sun so you don’t catch hypothermia.
Erik Lombardo

Serves 1

  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce rich mint syrup, or to taste
  • 1 bunch mint
  • Crushed Ice
  1. For the sweetener, make a rich sugar syrup by heating 2 parts by volume sugar with 1 part by volume water until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is just simmering. Throw in as many mint leaves as will fit in the pan (it isn’t expensive, don’t be cheap) and turn off the heat, stir to mix in the leaves, then allow to cool to room temp, a couple of hours. Strain the syrup off the leaves into a clean jar -- it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks (if it even lasts that long -- mine never does).
  2. Combine the ingredients in a fancy-schmancy julep cup if you have it, a cheater tin if you don’t, or a double old-fashioned glass if you must. Fill with crushed ice and stir until ice forms on the outside -- with all that crushed ice it won’t take long. Ice out of an ice crusher is fine, but even better is ice crushed in a canvas bag with a wooden mallet -- or, for the budget minded, a kitchen towel with a rolling pin. This ice takes on more of a snowy consistency and is absolutely beautiful.
  3. Once the ice has formed on the outside of the vessel, top with additional ice into a cone and add an irresponsible amount of fresh mint tops. Trim a straw down so that you have to bury your nose in mint to drink and sip slowly in the sun so you don’t catch hypothermia.
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