Long before we had frose, Mint Juleps were the quintessential warm-weather drink. A simple brew of bourbon, simple syrup, and pile, Juleps originated in the 18 th century. In recent millennia, of course, countless Americans accompanied them with the Kentucky Derby.
The first Saturday in May, more than 100,000 devotees were represented at the annual horse race in Churchill Downs. Nearly 120,000 Mint Juleps are served during Derby weekend, sources say.
Whether you are induce Juleps for Derby Day, or just looking to use up spare mint sprigs, here are five tips for shaping quality Mint Juleps at home.
What to do when making a Mint Julep Go large-hearted with bourbon.
Rye, whiskey, and brandy all work in a Mint Julep, but William Elliott, rail administrator of Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, prefers to use an overproof bourbon. An overproof spirit ensures “the cocktail has a longer life, ” Elliott says. His favorite bottles are Johnny Drum or Russell’s Reserve.
Application syrup , not carbohydrate.
Sugar quartzs are tough to incorporate into cold liquid and can transmit an annoying, grainy composition to your glas. Instead, bartenders opt for simple syrup made from Demerara sugar.
Tim Wiggins, co-owner and barroom administrator of Retreat Gastropub and Yellowbelly in St. Louis, Mo ., is intended to take things a stair further with mint-infused syrups for Mint Juleps. “Blanching and blending a mint syrup is a great way to create consistent and intense mint flavor, ” he says.
Pebble frost is key.
Yes, you can serve this sip over chunky cubes and no one will get hurt. But crunchy pebble frost is a huge part of Mint Juleps’ appeal.
In an interrogation with VinePair, Polite Provisions’ Erick Castro had noted that Sonic, the fast-food drive-through, has Scotsman ice machines that perform top-notch pebble sparkler. Countless orientations will sell you a container for a few dollars.
The colder the better.
“After you make the Julep, but before you ornament, settled the cocktail in the freezer for a few minutes, ” Elliott says. “It will frost up the outside of the tin nicely.” After all, if you’ve taken the time to get pebble sparkler and source a proper Julep mug, why not get the extra mile and cold the glass?
What not to do when making a Mint Julep Don’t muddle your batch.
“The mint flavor should be super fresh, ” Wiggins says, and cautions residence bartenders to handle their sprigs with charge. “Too much muddling procreates acrimonious and bruised spate that penchants aged and stale. You want to gently exhaust the plenty lubricants but not punish the mint.”
Elliott prefers not to disorient at all. “Just give the mint a simple smack against the mitt and cover the interior of the glass. This will extract just enough mint oil to order the tin.”
This is not a sipper.
Pebble ice softens immediately, so bartenders advise against slow sipping. “This drink is meant for hot summer periods while watching horses scoot, ” Wiggins says. “It should be ingested in no more than three swallows! ”
Of course, gulping overproof bourbon is not always advisable. Julep or no Julep, it’s important to know your limits.
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