The Kentucky Derby is over and we've got another year before it rears its pastel, privileged head, but I don't think that the rest of the year needs to be devoid of mint juleps. Full disclosure, I hadn't tried and Ben hadn't made a mint julep before our party this past week and we're sorely lacking in julep cups. It pains me to be sharing these photos in plain old-fashioned glasses, but you'll have to endure and read on for the delicious hand-crafted recipe.
2 oz. bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace)
10-12 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
2 tbsp turbinado simple syrup*
*Turbinado simple syrup
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup water
Combine turbinado sugar with water and warm in saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved (when stirring, you'll stop feeling the grainy texture in the pot) and liquid is syrup-y in texture. Syrup will keep for 1 month in the fridge in a sealed container.
To make your julep, layer mint in the bottom of a julep cup or old-fashioned glass. Add turbinado simple syrup. Muddle mint leaves into the simple syrup. Add bourbon. Stir. Add crushed ice (place ice in bag or in clean dishcloth and crush using a hammer or kitchen mallet) until glass is full and garnish with a sprig of mint.