With the Kentucky Derby right around the corner this seemed like a good time to share my favorite Mint Julep recipe. I have a tradition of making it every year, and let me tell you, it's delicious!
This is for one drink.
3 to 4 oz bourbon (preferably Makers Mark)1 oz mint simple syrup (sugar water with mint, recipe is below)fresh mint leavescopious amounts of shaved or pulverized ice. Most people don't have access to 'shaved ice', or crushed ice, so I recommend taking a bunch of ice cubes, wrapping them in a dish towel, then smashing with a mallet or hammer.
Muddle ½ oz of syrup with mint leaves in bottom of a rocks glass. Rub entire inside of cup with the syrupy leaves. Pack the glass to over the rim with ice. Pour the other half ounce of syrup over the ice, followed by the bourbon. Garnish with a leafy sprig of mint. It's not just to look pretty, but so you can smell it when you take a sip. Drink through a cocktail straw (but slowly, that's a lot of bourbon).
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 bunch mint
In heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Increase heat slightly, then simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take pan off heat, add mint leaves, and steep 15 minutes. Strain, then refrigerate syrup until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
You should also make the mint infused syrup today or tomorrow morning so it will be nice and chilled when you're ready to make the drinks. Also, if you don't use all of the mint syrup might I suggest you use them for Mojitos. Just use the syrup instead of sugar. Mix together mint syrup, lime juice, rum, soda water and a few fresh mint leaves and you've got another kind of tasty cocktail.