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Friday Cocktail: the Mint Julep

The Mint Julep

Kick off the summer this Friday with the classic Mint Julep!

Best enjoyed while dining al fresco or on a porch on a hot summer evening, the mint julep has a long history. This classic cocktail originated in the southern United States during the late 18th century. Traditionally it was served up in a silver (or pewter) cup. Since 1938, it has been the de facto official drink of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

This is a drink to savor and sip. It’s often made in batches to enjoy with friends and family, but here’s the recipe for an individual serving.

What you’ll need:  Bourbon, Water, Mint, Crushed ice, and simple syrup.

Prepare your simple syrup in advance. Simple syrup is essentially one part water to one part sugar heated in a sauce pan until the sugar dissolves. Then let cool.

In a highball or collins glass, put in fresh sprigs of mint (about a dozen) with about 1/2 ounce of water. Add in 1/2 ounce of simple syrup and then muddle the mint gently. Add your favorite bourbon (3 ounces). Then fill the glass with crushed ice. Stir gently and serve. Optionally, you could add an extra sprig of mint as a garnish.

How I like it:  A well-made mint julep has always been a favorite of mine to enjoy in the summer months. Though I don’t consider it the easiest drink to make, it is well worth the effort. One variation I use and recommend is to replace the simple syrup with honey syrup. The sweetness of the honey and fresh mint mingle perfectly in a chilled cocktail for a hot summer day!

Stay safe this summer, drink responsibly!

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