Cocktail, Legends of Bartending

So you’d like to make a Mint Julep?

I managed to get each step of David Wondrich’s Jim Beam Black Julep on Monday. I think it makes a good story, and shows each part of the compounding process in turning out a pretty epic drink.

Mint Julep

You’ll need: Some fresh mint, more is always better than less. Sugar, water, bourbon, rum, ice, mallet and a bag. You’ll also need a straw, and a silver julep cup wouldn’t go amiss either. I never said it was a simple process.

Start by dissolving sugar in water in the bottom of the cup. You could use syrup, but as Dave mentioned, use the raw sugar to make your syrup. Your mouth will thank you.

Next, break of three or four leaves of the mint into each cup. Tray to get as little of the stalk of mint as you can.

Grab your muddling stick and gently crush the leaves. You want to extract the oils from the leaf, without crushing the stem in the centre as it contains more bitterness than a jilted bride.

Now comes the fun bit. Grab your lewis bag and fill it with ice…

Then smash it with a mallet, like your boss’s Rolex was inside.

This will be a familiar sight to anyone who has been to a David Wondrich presentation, the explanation and display of an impossible to find and specifically designed piece of bar equipment that you never knew you wanted, and now can’t stop thinking about. This little gem is a julep scoop, designed for drinks that need crushed ice to be piled high.

Use said scoop to fill the julep cups to the brim with the crushed ice, leaving the mint and syrup at the bottom.

Now a julep is just a glass of ice until you pour in bourbon. This one uses Jim Beam Black, I’d pour in a good belt, if I were you. In excess of 60 mls, when you’re making this at home and responsible service expectations don’t impose a limit.

Now, give it a stir, the glass will get colder and start to frost.

Crushed ice dissolves quickly, so you’ll need to go back to the bag and top things up after the stir.

On the home stretch now. Garnish the cup liberally with any (and all) left over mint. It should look as though the cup itself contains a bed of herbs.

Drinks with crushed ice are pretty much impossible to drink without a straw, so you’ll need to add those. The keen eyed amongst you might have noticed the rum in the ingredient list and wondered what sort of julep has rum in it. According to Dave, the rum float was a pretty common addition. It adds a nice sugar note and pulls everything together really nicely. Dave used Cruzan, after all, it was a Mixxit gig.

You might not think it’s proper, but until you’ve done as much research as Dave, I’m going to side with him.

And there you have it. Only one (and perhaps the most important) step left. Suck that bourbon slushie down. Ably demonstrated by Luke Reddington from Eau de Vie and the chap from Bondi Pizza, whose name I forget.

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One thought on “So you’d like to make a Mint Julep?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey mate,
    Following on from your post re Reserva de la Familia, or any other products from OS for that matter, send me an email, I can help you out no prob

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