The argument of what makes a good Julep is over a century old. I've poured over book after book to find more than a dozen variations of a cocktail so simple, yet remarkably delicious and equally refreshing.
Variations made with Cognac, Bourbon, and Rye. Some topped with rum. Others topped with fruit. And of course the purists that shun both.
So, after some research and taste testing (it's a tough life I lead) I present to you my Mint Julep. I have but 3 simple tips.
Tip #1: Don't over bruise the mint. You're looking to release the oil and flavor of the mint. Bruising the mint will release some of its bitterness leading to a less refreshing Julep.
Tip #2: Use cracked ice. I like to place ice cubes in a bag or a folded dish towel and go at 'em with a mallet. It's makes for perfect ice and a great stress reliever.
Tip #3: Take it slow. Sip, relax, and enjoy. Like a good woman, a Julep should be savored but never rushed.
Brandy Julep: use Cognac
Kentucky Julep: use Bourbon
Maryland Julep: use Rye
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 ounces Cognac; or Bourbon; or Rye
Leaves of 3-4 sprigs of mint
Garnish: Sprig of Mint
1. In a Julep cup or double old fashioned glass, mix together powdered sugar and water.
2. Add mint leaves, pressing them with the sugar water to release their flavor.
3. Add spirit.
4. Top with cracked ice.
5. Insert a sprig of mint into ice.
6. Serve with two short straws.
Optional Step: Top with mixed berries or orange slice.
Optional Step: Top with a dash of rum.