Mint Julep


Not just for horse races, the mint julep is the perfect summer drink. It's sweet with earthy notes, but above all, it's refreshing. It's one of my favorite drinks to make en masse for parties, but it's easy enough to make for any relaxing afternoon. I make it virgin and then have a bottle of whiskey or bourbon handy to spice it up by the glassful (in case you're wondering, here's the difference between the two libations. Here's how I make it.

Mint Julep
Makes 1L

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 bunch mint, washed and dried
1 Liter club soda
Bourbon to taste (optional)

Combine the sugar and water in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, begin stirring more frequently until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to become sluggish when stirred (scientific words, I know). Remove from heat. Add in the mint leaves, reserving a handful for garnishing individual glasses. Allow to cool to room temperature (approximately 30 minutes) before combining with the club soda. Add ice or bourbon if desired.

Once the mint syrup is combined with the club soda, it keeps for about a day in the fridge before the soda loses its carbonation. To extend the shelf life, keep the syrup and club soda separate until ready to enjoy.

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