Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Mint Julep

in the spirit of the kentucky derby, i have been consuming mint juleps this week. upon ordering one out last night and deciding it didn't taste nearly as fabulous and a jessop mint julep, i decided i share my family recipe with the world.

according to wikipedia, the origins of the mint julep are cloudy. but it's thought to be believed that "the mint julep originated in the southern united states, probably during the eighteenth century. U.S. senator henry clay of kentucky introduced the drink to washington, d.c., at the round robin bar in the famous Willard Hotel during his residence in the city."

the origins of the jessop julep are more concrete. the jessop julep as told to my mother by my grandfather differs slightly from what you find on the internet mainly because we use more mint.
as i said the other day, the mint is up and it is thriving!

the other secret is using simple syrup instead of sugar and water separately. the sugar is given time to properly dissolve in the water by making the syrup and you don't have the grittiness of the inevitable bits of sugar that have not dissolved. i have to admit, i made my simple syrup with agave nectar this time and i thought it tasted just the same. (my simple syrup ratios: 1/2 cup agave nectar to 1 cup water)

so, here are the assembly instructions
start with fresh mint. place at least 6 medium sized leaves in the bottom of a rocks glass.
fill glass with crushed ice and stir together well to bruise mint but do not pulverize it.
add 2 oz whiskey (i used seagram's 7 because that was poppop's favorite, but have also used jamesion irish whiskey (gasp!) and jack daniels with success)
 add 1 1/2 oz simple syrup and stir well
garnish with mint sprig and enjoy!

it might not be the grass root traditional kentucky derby mint julep, but i'll take my jessop julep anyday!

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