Mint Juleps embody everything I love about living in the south. They signify sitting on the porch, taking it slow on a hot and humid day, then you’ve got that refreshing mint, topped off with some sweet Kentucky Bourbon. I make mine in this nice silver cup I was gifted but you could just as easily make this in any glass.
Start by making a simple syrup, which is equal parts sugar and water. Get yourself a small sauce pan and heat both ingredients together over medium- low heat until all the sugar granules have dissolved. Set aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Next make some crushed ice. If you have a good ice maker that produces smaller pieces of crushed ice you’re in luck. If you’re like myself and have a refrigerator that does about half the job, get a gallon-sized zip lock back and fill it with the crushed ice from the refrigerator. Then take a rolling pin and smash it until the ice is a little but finer, a kitchen towel laid in a single layer over the bag of ice can help prevent bag punctures; if you are part of a fortunate few make sure to use your Lewis bag. Once smashed put the bag of ice in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until ready to use.
Gather three or four springs of mint for each julep. The first three I use to run around the cup to release its natural oils. Do this gently with the back of a spoon and avoid crushing the mint which gives it a more bitter taste. This process releases the minty oils along the side of the cup which gives the drink most of its flavor. Go back to the freezer and pack the cup full of ice, leaving the mint from earlier at the bottom. Pour about two ounces of simple syrup over the ice (or as much as you desire), then pour two ounces of your favorite bourbon over the ice, I like Maker’s Mark. Give the drink a quick stir with a spoons to bring it together. Add the last sprig of mint to garnish (which also makes sure you get a minty nose with every sip) and enjoy!
- 2 oz favorite bourbon
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water (bottled preferred)
- 2 cups crushed ice
- 4 sprigs of fresh mint
- Make your simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water and dissolving them over medium-low heat in a sauce pan. Heat until sugar has completely dissolved then set aside to cool to room temperature.
- If you have an ice machine, make crushed ice. Then add to a durable zip-lock bag and smash the ice into a snow-cone like consistency with a rolling pin. Place the bag in the freezer for a couple minutes to ensure it is as cool as possible.
- Take the first bunch (3 springs) of mint and give it a solid smack. Then place it in your cup and very gently muddle around, using the back of a spoon. DO NOT SMASH THE MINT, which makes the drink bitter.
- Take the ice out of the freezer and fill your cup making sure there is enough to rise above the rim of the glass.
- Pour over the simple syrup, followed by the bourbon.
- Give the whole drink a stir with a spoon then stick the last spring of mint next to your straw and enjoy.