Friday, May 6, 2011
Citrus Mint Julep
Alright everyone, it’s cocktail Friday with the hubs! I hope y’all have recovered from your Cinco de Mayo festivities, because the hubs has decided to put a little hair on our chests with today’s cocktail!
Now, I must admit, living in Florida may constitute a person as being Southern (geographically speaking), but I can assure you, most people here (especially in South Florida) are not Southern (culturally speaking). However, I am actually Southern by blood (my family hails from Georgia) and I love being from the South.
We Southerners may be a funny bunch, but we have made some great contributions to the world. Life as we know it wouldn’t be the same without foods like fried chicken and corn bread and words like “fixins” and “ya’ll”.
Apart from wonderful cuisine and hospitality, the South can also claim to have “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”. That’s right, I’m talking about the Kentucky Derby. The Derby has been around since 1875 and while it’s definitely not the Super Bowl, it is a quite the spectacle (have you seen the hats those ladies wear?). One part of the Derby I love is that it is rich in traditions (we Southerners are a nostalgic bunch). Of those endearing traditions, and my personal favorite, is the Mint Julep.
I must warn you; the Mint Julep is no frou-frou drink. Some people, like myself, love the flavor and burn of bourbon; some people (ahem: Tina) can’t stand it. I created this recipe in hopes of encouraging others like my wife to not only sample the official cocktail of the Derby, but actually enjoy it. And since I’m a Southerner from South Florida, I had to incorporate fresh citrus flavor into the classic recipe.
If you plan on watching the Derby this weekend, do yourself a favor; put on your straw boater or big feathery hat, pick the horse with the silliest name to root for and mix up this delicious little Southern sipper.
Citrus Mint Julep
3 oz good quality bourbon (I use Old Grand-Dad or Maker’s Mark)
1 ½ oz triple sec
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup or 1 tablespoon sugar
8 to 10 mint leaves (don’t be shy on the mint)
Combine sugar, lime juice and mint leaves in the bottom of a glass and muddle gently to dissolve sugar and release essential oils in the mint.
Add 2/3 cup of crushed ice. Pour bourbon and triple over ice and stir generously with a spoon and let rest a few moments.
It is important to stir generously and allow this drink rest for a few reasons:
1. This is a drink from South, designed for outdoor consumption, it’s supposed to be ICE cold
2. This drink is pretty much straight alcohol (AKA: Boozy), dilution from the ice is crucial so that the other subtle flavors are not quashed by the bourbon.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.