Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Weekly Nightcap - Mint Julep

for those of you who don't know, northern baltimore county is horse country. more specifically, it is steeple chase country. yes, maryland is the home of the preakness, but in my neck of the woods, cross country racing involving the terrain, fences, bushes, water traps, etc. is the sport de jour.

today happens to be my favorite steeplechase race - the maryland hunt cup. put aside the fact that i don't really like horse races in general, i have been going to hunt cup my entire life. it's a fun day of eating, drinking, and socializing before the race followed by celebrating, eating, drinking, and socializing after the race.

mint juleps have always been linked to hunt cup in my memory. the annual after race party at the colhouns house always involves mint juleps passed around in a large silver trophy. mr. colhoun hand chips the ice from an ice block and mixes up the good stuff with freshly picked mint in his hunt cup trophy. it literally gets passed around and everyone imbibes from the same trophy. luckily the elixir is strong enough to kill any lingering germs.

in kentucky, mint juleps are made with burbon. however, i am a whiskey girl so i make mine with jameson. traditionally, mint juleps are made in silver cups. i happen to have several silver cups (old family horse race trophys) to mix mine in. i suppose the silver keeps the drink cold. the only problem with the silver? i couldn't hold the drink, it was too frosty and cold!

cold hands aside, in honor of the 115th running of the maryland hunt cup, i present you with the mint julep. cheers!

Mint Julep
makes 2 servings

10-12 large mint leaves
4 oz whiskey
3 oz simple syrup (i make mine with agave nectar 1/2 cup agave and 1 cup water)
lots of crushed ice

divide mint leaves between to glasses and bruise mint with the back of a spoon. add some crushed ice to each glass and stir mint and ice. add 2 oz of whiskey and 1 1/2 oz simple syrup to each glass and fill to the brim with crushed ice. garnish with mint sprig and enjoy!

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