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Old 23-03-2015, 14:31   #1
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Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

This is for Seaworthy Lass, who I will bet dollars to doughnuts has never had one of these.

In fact very few people out of this drink's geographical origin have ever actually tried one. That is because it is not really amenable to being made in bars -- too labor intensive -- and besides that, you simply cannot make it by measuring out the spirits in niggardly jiggers.

So here it is:

The main thing is you need generous quantities of fresh mint leaves, and plenty of ice.

Take a large double handful of fresh mint leaves, and if you know where they came from, don't wash them. Or if not, wash them, towel them off very, very gently, then let them air dry. They must not be wet.

Take a bowl of sugar -- note that there are no measures here -- typical of Southern cooking. A decent size cooking bowl, with a few inches of white cane sugar in the bottom. Pile in the fresh mint leaves, and using your fingers, crush the leaves and grind them up using the sugar as an abrasive. This process is called "muddling". The proportion is right when you get a thick green paste with fragments of mint leaves and stems in it. You must not add any water -- the sap and oils from the crushed mint leaves forms all of the liquid needed to dissolve the sugar, when you have the proportions right. This green goop is amazingly aromatic.

OK, now take some ice. Wrap it up in a kitchen towel and bludgeon the s***t out of it with a hammer or other blunt instrument. Do not be tempted use a blender, crusher, or any other mechanical means -- it is essential that the ice particles NOT be of regular size. Some of the ice should be almost powdered; some of it should be in larger chunks.

Fill a tumbler completely full with the crushed ice. Ideally, the tumbler should be pewter or sterling, but that's not essential. Take a generous heaping tablespoon full of the green goop you made in the first step, and glop it onto the ice. Then take some whiskey -- Bourbon or sour mash or rye or moonshine, but best of all Kentucky bourbon -- need not be expensive -- and pour it in slowly until the tumbler is completely full.

Serve and enjoy!

This drink is particularly good in hot weather, as it's cold and refreshing. It is also very, very strong - the bourbon is undiluted by anything except the ice -- so your guests will get wasted very fast.

The drink was invented as a way to mask the awful taste of the rotgut spirits used on the frontier in the 18th century, at least, that's what my great-grandmother told me. It is a traditional summer libation in the Deep South of the U.S.

It used to be -- maybe it still goes on -- that Mississippi expatriates in New York City would gather once a year in the summer for a picnic in Central Park. I attended a few of these in the '70's and '80's. These were jolly affairs, with a large proportion of New York's literary and publishing world attending (the "Mississippi Mafia" of the literature world in those days), and a multitude of other white and black people living in New York but homesick for Mississippi. The Governor of Mississippi, William Winters, flew up one year in a private plane with a bale of fresh mint leaves, to make vats of mint juleps.
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Old 23-03-2015, 15:14   #2
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

I have heard that this was prepared in the Deep South when men were men and women were glad of it .

You are right though, I have never indulged, but your post has enticed me to give it a go as soon as mint starts sprouting here.

I have taken hammer and almonds ashore when I had no means of grinding them on board. Hammer and ice will be next . I can see how shards of varying size are essential.

Thanks for sharing the recipe .
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Old 23-03-2015, 17:19   #3
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Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

I just returned from New Orleans and had a mint julip, and many other hand crafted cocktails. They prepared them just as Dockhead described and are delicious! We went to the bar where Chris McMillian was working and found some of his favorite recipies online. I particularly liked Pimm's Cup. Yum!
http://blog.nola.com/dining/2008/03/cocktails.html
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Old 23-03-2015, 18:50   #4
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

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So this is what we drink our mint juleps in here in Louisville. The silver cup is for home -- the Derby glasses are souvenirs for the tourists.
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Old 24-03-2015, 00:52   #5
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaktiGurl View Post
We went to the bar where Chris McMillian was working and found some of his favorite recipies online. I particularly liked Pimm's Cup. Yum!
New Orleans' Best Cocktails: The Collection | NOLA.com
"Pimms" (we tend to leave off the "Cup" bit) is a British concoction that Aussies have embraced along with G&Ts (both gin based if Pimms No.1 is used). Think tennis and flower shows rather than cocktail parties .

I find it is a great low alcohol alternative for an early sundowner on board in summer. I make it with soda water rather than lemonade though and add ice cubes made that morning with orange, lemon and lime juice instead of water (following a suggestion made by Montenido on a Margarita thread - I pick up such good tips here ) studded with wedges of peaches and orange flesh, then I add a long thin strip of cucumber, strawberries and mint that has been lightly bruised to release some of the flavour. The frozen peach tastes just like an icy pole.

Yum indeed .

SWL

Photo taken last summer of the frozen cubes:
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Old 24-03-2015, 02:45   #6
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

Nice cocktail recipe Dockhead, I got a bottle of burbon as a Christmas present and I haven't opened it yet as I'm not partial to the taste (also it seems a sin to drink burbon while living in Scotland!). I'm tempted now however to go out and buy some mint next weekend to see if a mint julep will liven up the Scottish gloom here in Aberdeen.

Cheers
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:01   #7
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

I don't know if that's the recipe she uses, but my wife makes a KILLER mint julep. They are wonderfully refreshing on a hot and humid day.
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:31   #8
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

Great topic, Dockhead! Brings back memories. My grandmother used to drink one mint julep a year, on the Fourth of July, while sitting under the sweet gum tree in her back yard.

I make mine one at a time, in a stirrup cup that's been chilled in the freezer for a while, using a muddling stick to crush the mint leaves in the sugar. My father was a banker, and he would crack his ice in a coin bag made of canvas. I still have it. I also put the bourbon bottle in the freezer. When all the ingredients are in the cup, stir it vigorously for a minute or two, and the outside of the cup will develop a coat of frost. For a drink that's straight bourbon, it's surprisingly smooth.
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:46   #9
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

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I make mine one at a time, in a stirrup cup that's been chilled in the freezer for a while, using a muddling stick to crush the mint leaves in the sugar. My father was a banker, and he would crack his ice in a coin bag made of canvas. I still have it. I also put the bourbon bottle in the freezer.
Gloves need to be worn when drinking that?
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:14   #10
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

ReadThis » Walker Percy’s Perfect Mint Julep
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:17   #11
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Great topic, Dockhead! Brings back memories. My grandmother used to drink one mint julep a year, on the Fourth of July, while sitting under the sweet gum tree in her back yard.

I make mine one at a time, in a stirrup cup that's been chilled in the freezer for a while, using a muddling stick to crush the mint leaves in the sugar. My father was a banker, and he would crack his ice in a coin bag made of canvas. I still have it. I also put the bourbon bottle in the freezer. When all the ingredients are in the cup, stir it vigorously for a minute or two, and the outside of the cup will develop a coat of frost. For a drink that's straight bourbon, it's surprisingly smooth.
.
A coin bag! What a great idea! That's the perfect way to do it. Otherwise you destroy a lot of kitchen towels, and lose a lot of ice on the galley sole. I'll try to find one of those.

The only thing here I'm skeptical about is the "muddling stick". I can't imagine how that could be a proper substitute for fingers -- strong fingers. Whose fingers is a politically incorrect subject -- in this day and age, obviously, my fingers.
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:23   #12
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

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Walker Percy is one of my favorite writers, but I can't say that I cotton to his julep recipe. There's no mint in it besides the two sprigs! No muddling!

Also, fine bourbon is definitely not needed. The drink was invented to make undrinkable spirits drinkable. Rye or sour mash is ok, too. I do agree about the Scotch, however -- wrong taste.

I guess it's a little different drink -- sweetened bourbon on crushed ice. Probably also delicious.
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:24   #13
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

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Nice cocktail recipe Dockhead, I got a bottle of burbon as a Christmas present and I haven't opened it yet as I'm not partial to the taste (also it seems a sin to drink burbon while living in Scotland!). I'm tempted now however to go out and buy some mint next weekend to see if a mint julep will liven up the Scottish gloom here in Aberdeen.

Cheers
Cheers!
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:27   #14
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

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Walker Percy is one of my favorite writers, but I can't say that I cotton to his julep recipe. There's no mint in it besides the two sprigs! No muddling!

Also, fine bourbon is definitely not needed. The drink was invented to make undrinkable spirits drinkable. Rye or sour mash is ok, too. I do agree about the Scotch, however -- wrong taste.

I guess it's a little different drink -- sweetened bourbon on crushed ice. Probably also delicious.
His description was evocative:
"Drinking mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of Bourbon. Men fall facedown unconscious, women wander in the woods disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahlil Gibran and the limberlost…."

although the thought of "mint crushed with strong fingers" tops that .

SWL
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:34   #15
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Re: Cocktail Recipe -- Mint Julep

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Gloves need to be worn when drinking that?
Heh. Drink enough of 'em and you develop calluses.
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