BourbonBlog.com‘s Matt Capucilli reports from a recent Bulleit Bourbon Derby event he attended in NYC at Maysville, an American whiskey bar and restaurant with a Kentucky theme.
Dale DeGroff was on hand to make Mint Juleps, and we’re sharing the recipes with you too. How much better can it get?
It’s hard to imagine that the original Mint Julep recipes didn’t even require whiskey, but it’s true. Originating in the 1860’s, the first Juleps of this nature relied on Cognac and Rum, and were much sweeter than today’s kind. Now a much simpler, classic recipe, with less sweetness and more kick, the Mint Julep is a true icon of the south and of the Kentucky Derby.
Bulleit Bourbon works particularly well for Mint Juleps because of its spiciness. Mixing bourbon obviously dilutes some of the flavor, but Bulleit’s cinnamon notes shine through along with the vanillas and caramels.
What really takes this drink to new heights is crushed ice and a chilled metal cup (especially when the ice is hand-smashed by cocktail expert Dale DeGroff). Something about the metal and ice combination makes the drink super-refreshing, with every sip giving your nose a twinge of cool mint.
While Derby has already passed this year, the Juleps will remain a wise drinking choice all summer long.
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All recipes below by Dale DeGroff
Modern Mint Julep
1.3 oz Bulleit Bourbon
.07 oz. Simple syrup or a teaspoon of sugar
4 mint leaves and a sprig of Mint (use tender , young sprigs–last longer and look better)
Prepare some very cold very dry powdered ice with chunks of ice and a canvas ice bag. Bruise the mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup with sugar syrup. Add ice to the three quarter mark and half of the bourbon. Stir to chill the julep cup. Top off with more powdered ice and the remaining bourbon and continue to stir until the outside of the cup begins to freeze. Garnish with the mint sprig and set aside to rest while the julep cup freezes over on the outside. Pick up carefully to imbibe.
3 lemon pieces (cut a lemon in half and then quarter one of the halves, use three of the quarters)
5 mint leaves
1 ounce simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon Bourbon
Lemon wedge for garnish
1 mint sprig for garnish
Muddle the lemon pieces, mint leaves, and simple syrup in the bottom of a Boston shaker glass. Add the Bourbon and shake well with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wedge.
Cognac Julep 1863
4 or 5 Mint leaves
.5 oz Merlet Créme de Pêche
2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
Brugal Extra Viejo Rum
Garnish: Mint sprig
In a Julep cup, muddle the mint and crème de pêche. Fill three-quarters of the way with finely crushed ice and pour in 1 ounce of the cognac. Stir until the outside of the cup begins to frost. Fill with more crushed ice, add the remaining 1 ounce of cognac and stir briefly. Top with a splash of rum and garnish with a mint sprig. Let the drink rest until a layer of frost has formed on the outside of the glass.