Saturday, May 4, 2013

It's Mint Julep Time!

It's Cinco de Mayo this weekend, but we won't be talking about tequila, because it is also the first Saturday in May, which means two things - The Kentucky Derby and Mint Juleps - and that means bourbon.  So we'll be talking about this traditional Kentucky Derby drink.

A Mint Julep is a refreshing concoction of bourbon, sugar, mint and ice.  Here'a recipe for a traditional Mint Julep:

I make mine a little differently.  It takes a some preparation beforehand but I think it's worth the effort.

Step 1 - infuse your bourbon with mint.  For a mint julep I go a little old school with my bourbon, nothing fancy or top shelf, just some good old Jim Beam.  Chop up a whole lot of mint and put it in a big mason jar with a bottle of bourbon.  Let it sit in the fridge for about a week or so.  Strain so you get all the mint out and your ready to go.

Step 2 - mint infused simple syrup.  Simple syrup is easy.  Equal parts sugar and water.  Boil the water until the sugar dissolves.  While it's boiling add a bunch of mint.  Once the sugar has dissolved turn off the heat and let it cool, leaving the mint leaves in.  Once it's cooled, strain the mint out, pour it into a container and stick it in the fridge until your ready to use.

Stpe 3 - ice.  Shaved ice is best, crushed ice will do in a pinch (and what was used in the picture up top, since I couldn't generate any shaved ice).  I have found that a snow cone machine works best.  Just get a small portable one for $20 bucks or so.  Ours is broke so I need to go get one before post time.

Step 4 - prepare.  Fill a glass to the brim with shaved ice.  Pour a little bit of the mint infused simple syrup in and then fill the rest of your glass up with your mint infused bourbon.  You can make it as sweet or strong as you want - just adjust your ratio of bourbon to syrup.  Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Step 5 - drink.  It really is a tasty, refreshing drink.  I generally only drink this once a year on Derby day.  I think that this year it may become a staple at the poolside bar here at La Cucina Castano.

Have a great weekend, enjoy the Derby, pick a winner and enjoy a delicious cocktail (if not a Mint Julep then one of your favorites).



No comments:

Post a Comment