JULEP: from the Arabic julāb or Persian gulāb, julep translates to rose water.
First Use: 14th century
Originally a medicinal cure for stomach ailments, the Mint Julep is a particularly American drink favored highly in the South as a cool, refreshing summer cocktail. Though originally it could be made with Cognac, brandy, gin or whiskey the most common modern version is made with Bourbon.
The Mint Julep is the official drink of The Kentucky Derby where over 100,000 are served up to racegoers each year. In recent years, however, a commercially pre-mixed substitute served up in a plastic cup has been offered up in place of a true Mint Julep. This is understandable because of the multitudes being served, but it's not the singular experience of getting a hand-crafted, ice domed Mint Julep served to you in a dew frosted silver tumbler.
As a member of the Smash family of drinks, a real Julep consists of fresh mint leaves, spirit, sugar, and water (ice) and is constructed by first muddling the mint and sugar in a glass (traditionally a Julep Cup), filling the cup with crushed ice, adding the spirit (traditionally Bourbon), then mounding a bit more crushed ice over the top and garnishing with a fresh mint sprig. Spearmint is the preferred herb, though peppermint can be used.
INGREDIENTS2-1/2 Oz. Bourbon4 Fresh Mint Leaves2 Sugar CubesTeaspoon of WaterCrushed Ice
Garnish Fresh Mint Sprig
DIRECTIONSAdd the sugar cubes, mint leaves and water to the bottom of a proper mint julep cup.Muddle to release the mint oils and dissolve the sugar cubes.Fill the cup completely with crushed ice.Add the bourbon and stir until the cup frosts over then top off with more crushed ice.Garnish with the fresh mint sprig and serve.
VOICEOVER VIDEO WITH INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:
Below are some of my happy hour riffs on this classic Southern libation.
Brown Sugar PEACH MINT JULEP
PINEAPPLE MINT JULEP
BLUEBERRY MINT JULEP
MINT JULEP as a Martini
The sportsmen ready,
and the julep o'er,
Which doctors storm at,
and which some adore.
~ A Short Poem on Hunting," found in the Virginia Gazette, Jan 11, 1770.
National Mint Julep Day is May 30th and Mint Julep Month is from early April to early May (set to coincide 30 days prior to the Kentucky Derby.)
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY