If I were forced to choose a favorite cocktail, this would be it. In fact, when planning our wedding, I selected mint juleps to be served as one of the featured cocktails. It may sound weird, but this drink was my inspiration for the overall feel of the reception. As beverages go, it’s classic, elegant, and distinctly southern. Moreover, it’s traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup—what could be better? Of course, if you don’t have a stash of julep cups, you can serve this delightful cocktail in rocks glasses.
Bourbon of choice
Fresh mint sprigs
Place a few fresh mint leaves (plucked from the lower ends of the sprigs) in the bottom of the julep cup or rocks glass and muddle them with a muddling tool or the back of a spoon. Fill the cup with crushed ice all the way to the rim. Pour in 2 parts bourbon, then 1 part mint simple syrup. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and serve with a paper straw, cut to size so that it only extends an inch or two above the lip of the cup.
Years ago, I found this fun little book (shown right) that maps out the history of the mint julep. If you’re a nerd like me and interested in culinary history, check it out.