Being married to a man from Kentucky means there is a lot of bourbon in my life. He ordered me a mint julep on one of our first dates, we have bottles of bourbon on display in our house, and mint juleps were the signature drink at our wedding.
Yum. They do go straight to your head, though. And sometimes they cause large, burly Marines to throw up in hotel hallways. Reportedly.
They’re also super easy to make. But they are supposed to be served with crushed or shaved ice. I threw some ice cubes in my food processor, but you can also put some in a plastic bag and smash them with something heavy (like a can of food).
Then, all you have to do is stir a few ingredients together and stick a short straw (so you can smell the mint) in it.
You can also wear seersucker and a hat when you drink it… or not. Up to you.
Mint julep (makes one, but it’s easily multiplied)
1/3 cup simple syrup (recipe below, or buy it)
2/3 cup bourbon*
several mint leaves, plus a sprig for decoration
1 cup or more crushed or shaved ice
Short straw (we cut ours)
Stir the simple syrup and bourbon together in a small measuring cup or other cup. Add most of the mint leaves and use a muddler or a spoon to smash/muddle the mint leaves to release some of the flavor.
Add the mint to the glass you plan to serve the julep in, and pour the drink over it. Garnish with additional mint sprig and add a straw. Enjoy (slowly)!
*Note: This recipe is for a sweet mint julep that isn’t quite as strong as the traditional recipe. If you’d like a more traditional mint julep, use 3 or 3 1/2 parts bourbon to 1 part simple syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
handful of washed mint leaves (optional)
Pour the water and sugar together in a small saucepan. Add the mint leaves. Turn heat on medium-high or high and heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then remove and discard mint leaves. Store in the refrigerator — syrup will be very sticky.