Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mint Julep

This is a good drink.

Make a mint syrup by boiling:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar

Turn off the heat and dunk into the liquid two bunches of mint (about 3-4 cups, loosely packed) - use the stems, too, but cut off the lower, thicker parts.

Cover the pot and allow to steep till cool. Strain, bottle, and keep in the fridge. It is delicious stuff. Use it in iced tea, with sparkling water, with gin, rum, or:

A Deconstructed Mint Julep

I object to drinking any kind of alcohol through a straw. And drinking  a traditional Mint Julep is hard - all that chopped ice and a hedge of mint to suck through. I prefer this. More grown up, and very good. In a fat glass combine:

1.5 parts mint syrup
3 parts bourbon
A lot of ice
A splash of seltzer or sparkling water



  1. Wow, you are very close to the real, old, traditional, basic mint julep recipe (almost no one ever is). Only difference I think is that originally the bartender worked mint leaves and powdered sugar together with a mortar and pestle. Think I might like yours better.

    Mint juleps made this way are good -- wholly unlike what is comes out of a bottle (OMG) and 100 percent better than what is sold at Churchill Downs for exorbitant prices. Now very curious to try a mint julep with gin. Sounds delightful on a hot summer day. Mary

    PS The South African trainer who brought a horse for the Derby this year was very popular among horsemen -- and did very well, considering everything they were up against (travel, etc.). Very skilled at what he did and refreshingly humorous sometimes.

  2. Thanks, Mary. I will try the Real Old Fashioned recipe again, soon, as I appreciate the method. I really, really liked this one :-)

    Interesting to hear about the Derby's SAfrican connection. I love horses but am not a big fan of racing.

  3. We save a small liquor bottle and then make enough all at once to fill it and then keep it in the 'fridge for sipping and Derby Day. There's a bottle in there now that's more than 15 years old - saved from our last Derby with my grandmother. It's the "family recipe". But a sprig of whole mint is required.

  4. What a lovely recipe and photo- I adore the vase, flowers and that glass! Is it a big deal to make it with spearmint? That's what I'm growing.
    Also a belated thank you for posting about the JURA 125. I bought one and love it- mostly because it's metal and painted green and the fact that it's easy to crank the twin compost bins.

    1. Hallie - thank you! - and spearmint (Mentha spicata) is the usual mint to use...

  5. I, too, love the photo. The flowers are lovely. Could you tell us what they are and where the photo was taken, please? As I recall, you had great difficulty with light in the Harlem apartment at the beginning. The light in this photo is wonderful.

    1. Thank you, Nancy. The flowers are crabapple blossoms and I shot them in daylight on the terrace.


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