I am lover of whiskey and The Great Gatsby. So it boggles my mind that, until this summer, I had never tried a mint julep. This anomaly came to my attention and I spent this entire summer concocting this icy cold, refreshing, knockout cocktail. I’m also using this as an excuse to purchase mint julep cups – stay tuned for next summer’s feature and my husband’s wrath.
Reasons why the mint julep is my perfect summer drink: 1) it is ice, ice cold 2) it is really, really strong 3) you are supposed to wear an absurdly big hat while consuming. Through trial and error, I’ve decided my preference for this cocktail is making fresh mint simple syrup, rather than muddling mint and sugar. It keeps in the fridge and could NOT be more simple to make (get it?). Use equal parts sugar and water (e.g. 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water), add roughly chopped mint and stems, and heat over medium high heat until sugar dissolves fully. Turn off heat and allow to cool, then drain out mint.
- 3-ish oz bourbon whiskey (maybee four, I won't tell)
- 1/2 to 3/4 oz mint simple syrup, depending on your preference for sweetness
- crush iced, at least one cup
- fresh mint to garnish
Make mint simple syrup by combining 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water in a pot. Add a bunch of fresh mint - stems and all.
Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Turn off heat and allow the simple syrup to cool, and then pour over a strainer to remove the mint.
Add approx. 1/4 cup of crushed ice to a mint julep cup or cocktail shaker, then pour over your simple syrup and bourbon.
Stir to blend, then add another equal measure of crushed iced and repeat stirring.
Top with a final leveling of crushed iced and fresh mint garnish
Consume with relish.
The measure of ingredients is to my personal taste - strong and sweet. Also, a mint julep is meant to be slowly sipped in the heat - so take it slow and enjoy!