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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mint Julep

As you prepare for the Kentucky Derby, it is important that you have the proper adult beverage. Whether you are watching the most exciting two minutes in sport or sitting on the veranda watching the world go by, this mint julep recipe will hit the spot. I make sure to always have mint on hand by growing my own. As I don't want it to take over the rest of the garden, I keep it in containers.

Mint Juleps are traditionally served in silver cups but don't sweat it if you haven't got a set that's been passed down in your family for generations. Instead, use a highball glass.

Mint Julep

Mint leaves
Crushed ice
2 tablespoons mint simple syrup (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons water
2 ounces good-quality Kentucky bourbon

Crush or muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-ounce Mint Julep Cup or a highball glass with the back of a spoon until mixture forms a paste.

Then fill the Mint Julep Cup or glass 1/2 full with crushed or shaved ice. Add prepared mint syrup, water, and bourbon. Stir well.

To serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
Mint Simple Syrup

1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
A large handful of mint (leaves and stems)

Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Pour over the mint and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Remove mint and strain. Store in the refridgerator in an airtight container.

Mint simple syrup can also be used to sweeten and flavor iced tea and to make a killer mojito.

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