The julep all comes down to the leaves

A couple of weeks ago, some friends came up to the farm for the weekend and the topic of a Mint Julep was raised. I have never been a huge fan of this drink. Many bars back in San Francisco just seemed to view it as a Bourbon-y take on a Mojito which is just wrong. They were sweet and sickly, something for girly girls and transsexuals to maybe enjoy. I never thought of the drink as having any degree of “hair” due how much like a crappy candy cane it came across as. And this is a shame as I’m generally a raving fan of brown-booze-based cocktails.

But, it turned out that the mint which grows with wild abandon around the farm is greatly different than the mint that grew up wild around my parents’ farm. This stuff is vibrant, pungent, and just generally awesome. So, we gave the julep a try with the following recipe:

4-5 large mint leaves
10g (two heaped teaspoons) granulated sugar
75ml (2.5oz/1.25 shots) Bourbon split in 25/50ml parts

Mash leaves, sugar, and 25ml of Bourbon in a glass. Let it sit for a minute. Then strain in to new glass. Add in ice cubes and then the last 50ml of Bourbon. Give it a stir for a few seconds. Garnish with a sprig of slapped (bitch or otherwise) mint. High ball glass, fancy straw, and gentile pondering optional.

The result was really fantastic and while we were using top shelf Bourbon to make it, I attribute a great deal of the success to the top shelf mint that we included. I can’t emphasize that even after you’ve muddled the mint in with all the ingredients, having the aromas of that fresh, gorgeous mint leaf in the glass filling your olfactory senses is really crucial.