The Mint Julep is a real blast from the past. It was developed in the Southeastern United States in the late 18th century, and has been the subject of songs, and featured in artwork, stories, poems and literature for over 200 years. It is truly an historic drink.
Here’s how to make a Mint Julep:
- 4 oz of Good quality Bourbon
- ½ oz of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
- 6-10 Mint Leaves (the small leaves are the sweetest for flavoring, but the big ones are great for garnishes)
- Glass full of crushed ice
Directions: This drink really is supposed to be made with crushed ice. You can crush your ice in a blender, or use a mallet and a clean towel. Or, perhaps you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator that can make crushed ice for you.
Put a small amount of the ice in your glass and add the mint leaves. You will muddle the mint leaves with the ice – but don’t KILL it! Just mash it around a few times with the back of a spoon. If you muddle the mint too much it will get bitter.
Next, fill the glass the rest of the way up with ice so that the ice is actually mounded on top of the glass. Next, pour the Bourbon over the ice and let it settle to the bottom. As it does this it will cause the ice to melt somewhat. Then add the syrup, on top. There is no need to actually mix this up.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.
The Mint Julep is intended to be sipped from a silver or stainless steel cup on a hot day. As you drink the ice melts and the flavors of the mint and syrup blend with the whiskey in a delicious way. These days, most people serve them in glass Collins glasses – simply because that’s what we all have. Either is ok, but the metal cups get a nice frost on them from the condensation that is really cool.