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Recipes

Mint Julep

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For those of you that have met me, you could probably quickly tell that I am a true “Southerner.” I was born and raised right down the road in Mobile, so I truly get it honest. Although I grew up in the South, I spent over 10 amazing years of my life in the Pacific Northwest. I loved every minute of it and have always been grateful for the experience, but it will always be my second home. The overwhelming hospitality and nature of Southerners, the warm weather, and the beaches, are just a few of the many reasons this place will always have my heart. It has a lot to do with sweet tea and grits as well… and I can’t forget to mention Mardi Gras! When it comes to cocktails, there is another Southern tradition that I also have a serious affinity for: the mint julep! According to Chris Morris, a spirits historian and master distiller for Woodford Reserve Bourbon, the mint julep appears to have its roots in the Arab world. However, mint juleps have been served in the South since the 1700s. This refreshing cocktail came to fame in 1938, when it became the signature cocktail for the Churchill Downs racetrack at the historic Kentucky Derby. Each year, almost 120,000 mint juleps are served in the two days of the festivities. In the 1930s, a julep at the Kentucky Derby would only cost about 75 cents. These days, they offer juleps in 24-karat gold cups for a cool $1000. Of course those are made with mint from Morocco, sugar from the South Pacific, ice from the Arctic Circle, and are even served with a silver straw. Quite a bit over the top if you ask me, and really, who needs to get even nearly that “fancy” to enjoy a great cocktail. I know that you typically hear about mint juleps mainly around that first Saturday in May when the horses are getting ready to run, but this month, stop by Jackson’s and we’ll be helping everyone get in touch with their inner Southerner by serving up juleps a tad bit early this year!

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 mint leaves
  • 2 ounces of your favorite Kentucky bourbon
  • (At Jackson’s we’ll be using our very own blend of Angel’s Envy)
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions:

Put the mint and simple syrup in a glass and gently muddle. Then fill the glass with crushed ice and pour bourbon over the ice. Stir well, and garnish with a mint sprig before serving.