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A mint julep does not need an egg white or boar’s protein or anything else to corrupt this pure and true drink … the symbolic drink of the Kentucky Derby.

Here it is folks. The difference is the preparation of the mint syrup. It’s well worth the extra effort.

Mint Julep

Recipe by: Craig Heuser, Louisville KY

Ingredients:

  • One large bunch of mint
  • Two cups sugar
  • Two cups water
  • Ice
  • Bourbon to taste*

*The bourbon doesn’t need to be of the highest quality. In fact, you are actually preparing to ruin the bourbon by adding something other than ice to it, so save your money for something important – like ibuprofen for the next morning.

Directions:

First, you need to make a simple syrup which only consists of boiling some water with sugar in it. Easy. I prefer to boil down one heaping cup of sugar for each cup of water. Once you’ve brought the liquid to a boil and all of the sugar is dissolved, turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about five minutes. That’s it. You’re finished. It’s called simple syrup for a reason.

While you are allowing the syrup to cool down a bit, wash your mint, shake it dry and pull the leaves off of the stem. I always put them into a wide and shallow Tupperware container because it is easier to dole out the syrup when it’s time for a drink. Next, pour the sugar-water over the mint leaves and leave it uncovered until the concoction is at room temperature. Then, store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

On Derby morning, fill a cup with ice. For some reason, bagged ice works best but any kind will do. Start by putting one tablespoon of your minty simple syrup without the leaves into the cup. Pour in as much bourbon as you think might do the trick and then add a splash of water to top it off (remember, your ice will melt down so don’t add too much). Stir it all up and taste.

Ahhh, tastes like a hangover.

Add more syrup, water or bourbon to your preference and then throw a sprig of mint in the glass. But if you’re like me, you completely forgot to save some mint so just go without the salad. Enjoy!

Make your syrup with a 1:1 count of sugar to water.

Make your syrup with a 1:1 count of sugar to water.

Add your hot syrup to a container filled with mint leaves to make mint syrup. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for 24 hours.

Add your hot syrup to a container filled with mint leaves to make mint syrup. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for 24 hours.

This is what your syrup will look like after 24 hours. Don't use this mint in your drinks.

This is what your syrup will look like after 24 hours. Don’t use this mint in your drinks.

Bagged ice works best. Add syrup first as your make the best mint julep you've ever had.

Bagged ice works best. Add syrup first as your make the best mint julep you’ve ever had.

If you've remembered to save some mint, use it to garnish your drink. Call the mint "salad" if you want to sound like you grew up in Louisville.

If you’ve remembered to save some mint, use it to garnish your drink. Call the mint “salad” if you want to sound like you grew up in Louisville. Use a highball glass or a mint julep silver or pewter cup.

The Best Mint Julep Recipe EVER

Cheers!

 

 

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