Yes, the Kentucky Derby was a couple of weekends ago, but a Mint Julep is not just for the first Saturday of May. This nice cold, slushy drink is perfect all summer - especially if you made the grave error (as we did) of planting mint in the ground (instead of keeping it in contained in a pot) and now it's coming up like Kudzu!
So, start by yanking up some mint from the garden (or getting a bunch at the grocery store) and make the mint syrup ahead of time (recipe below). This is a lot easier than muddling the mint leaves for each drink. We also suggest shaking the ingredients with ice cubes before pouring them over the crushed ice. If the liquid isn't chilled first, it melts the crushed ice too quickly and you end up with a watery drink - which is just sad. There are only a couple of ingredients to this drink, so it's easy to make. What could be better on a warm summer evening?
Mint Julep1 ounce mint simple syrup
2 1/2 ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon
Fresh mint sprig for garnish
Shake mint syrup and bourbon with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker (about 20 seconds to chill the ingredients). Strain into a julep cup - add crushed ice and a fresh sprig of mint.
|Fresh mint from the garden|
Mint Simple Syrup1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch mint
Stir water and sugar in a saucepan and heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove pan from heat and add mint leaves. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a jar and cover and refrigerate.
|Stirring the mint leaves into the sugar water|