One of the oldest styles of cocktail, the julep is primarily known as the drink of choice on a hot afternoon at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, and this year I finally got to make one in time to post on the Ruby Spoon. The julep is traditionally served in that pretty pewter or silver cup. Proper preparation of the julep has always been up for interpretation, but here is how I like to prepare one. First, some tips to remember. A proper julep cup is pretty essential, but if you don’t have one substitute a copper mug or a highball glass. Crushed ice. Fresh, perky looking mint. And the finest overproof bourbon you can afford to mix with.
makes: 1 julep
2.5 ounces bourbon whisky – I used Makers 46 (use Booker’s if you want a higher proof)
.5 ounce simple syrup
8 mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
Muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup in the bottom of a julep cup (you could also use a Moscow mule mug if you don’t have a julep cup).
Add the bourbon and fill the cup 3/4 full with crushed or pebble ice. Holding the cup by the rim, stir, churning the ice as you go until the cup is entirely frosted.
Add enough crushed ice to fill the cup and mound over the top a bit. Garnish with a mint bouquet and serve with a straw.
And we’re off to the races…