A mint julep is made with just four ingredients: Water, sugar, mint, and bourbon. Because of the way the mint leaves are bruised or muddled, releasing their oils into the mixture, you can think of a mint julep almost as a sort of mojito, with a little less Cuban ayeayeaye and a heckuva lot more slow Southern drawl. Drink enough of them, and you’ll probably wake up on someone’s porch with a white handlebar mustache, wearing a seersucker suit, and wondering what happened to the last fifty years of your life. Or at least, you’ll probably get to miss going to the horse race. Win/win.
Make a simple syrup by combining equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cool completely, then serve your mint julep in a silver cup (or a regular ol’ rocks glass) over shaved ice with plenty of mint. Allow the outside of the glass to frost over, and sip with pinky extended, eyes closed in the warm Spring sunshine.
Makes one cocktail
- 2 healthy sprigs fresh mint
- 3/4 ounces simple syrup
- 2-1/2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
- Shaved ice
Gently bruise mint with a pestle or the back of a spoon. Add to glass, along with simple syrup and bourbon. Strain into second glass, filled with crushed or shaved ice. Stir well, and garnish with more fresh mint.