Cocktail of the Week: Mint Julep

2014-04-22 20.34.27We had plenty of mint left over after making Planter’s Punch. D experimented with putting it in some of our food dishes but it’s a notorious difficult flavor to pair with. I had the bright idea of making Mint Juleps with the remaining, I mean it is Spring and all. The first step was getting a handle on what exactly goes into a Mint Julep, and like a lot of things that have been around for a while, there are quite a few varieties of the cocktail. Some call for white sugar, some call for brown sugar. Some insist that you use only powdered sugar, some mention soda water others leave it out. I decided to go with the most basic recipe I could find with the assumption that it’d be the closest to the original. Just bourbon, brown sugar, fresh mint, and a lot of ice.

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Mint Julep

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 4 cups of ice

Crush the ice. In a cocktail shaker muddle 8 mint leaves and brown sugar. Add bourbon and stir. Pack a cocktail cup with crushed ice until overflowing. Strain bourbon into cup. Stir until sides of cup frost over. Top with more ice and garnish with remaining mint leaves.

2014-04-22 20.34.47 Not really much to look at is it? It wasn’t really much to drink either… I suppose if I was at the Kentucky Derby under a hot sun, sipping on a Mint Julep might not be a bad idea. Or if I had a porch to sit on during a long warm, summer evening than a Mint Julep might make sense. There just isn’t much to talk about here. Sightly sweetened bourbon with a hint of mint that gets more and more watered down as you drink it. If I tried this again I think I’d crush the ice a little finer and see if club soda adds anything to the drink. In all likelihood though, the next time I have mint lying around I’ll make a Mojito.

Cocktail of the Week: Peach Mint Juleps

Nothing like a Mint Julep on a hot summer day
Nothing like a Mint Julep on a hot summer day

D had an idea for our next cocktail. One that surprised me, as D is not a fan of the primary ingredient of the drink: mint. She said she wanted to try these Mint Juleps she had seen in a recent issue of Bon Appetit. I protested; it didn’t make a lot of sense for me to make a drink she wasn’t going to want. She informed me that these mint juleps also had peach in them and so would taste better. Also, I was to make hers without any mint…

I tried to tell her then that it wasn’t a mint julep at that point. I don’t even think it was a julep of any kind. It was just peach and bourbon. She was insistent and since I like Mint Juleps I went ahead with the drink.

The ingredients
The ingredients

Peach Julep (serves 2)

  • 1/4 cup Ginger syrup
  • 1 ripe peach, peeled, sliced
  • 4 sprigs mint plus more for garnish
  • 4 oz bourbon
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 6 oz ginger beer

For each cocktail muddle 1/2 of the peach slices and 2 of the mint sprigs in a julep cup or double old fashioned glass (I just used my old cocktail glasses;) add 2 oz of bourbon, 1 oz of lemon juice, and 1/2 oz of ginger syrup. Fill glasses with crushed ice and add 2-3 oz of ginger beer. Garnish with mint sprig

(Recipe found in the August 2013 Bon Appetit)

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These were really great! The only real problem was that I didn’t use enough ice. I like to think of Juleps as boozy snow cones and I just didn’t crush enough ice during the prep… The muddled peach and mint was tasted great and added a lot of flavor to the drink. D enjoyed hers as well but thought it was a little strong. This too could have been prevented with more ice.

Next week I make Sea Breezes.