Now, it may just be us, but simply reading the name mint julep forces us into a Scarlett O’Hara style Southern drawl (that would make the teapigs US team positively curl their toes in horror). We just can’t help it, y’all!
While the name itself is most likely is a variant on the Middle Eastern julab or golab – drinks which range from fruit syrups of carob and dates, to rose water - it’s most commonly associated as a staple beverage of the Southern United States (it’s literally the official drink of the Kentucky Derby!).
Mint juleps have been around to help while away the hot American summers since the 18th Century – though originally they were prescribed to cure stomach bugs rather than as a refreshment. They were so popular, rumour has it even President Teddy Roosevelt was a fan thanks to a special reserve of mint grown at the White House, despite his hard stance on alcohol! If it’s good enough for a president, it’s good enough for us.
The traditional recipe calls for fresh mint leaves, but our peppermint tea is so packed full of flavoursome oils we just can’t resist adding it in and kicking those fresh tones up a gear.
what you’ll need
- A peppermint tea temple
- 50ml freshly boiled water
- 25-50ml bourbon (that’s a single or a double)
- 12ml simple syrup, or 2 tsp brown sugar
- Ice for shaking, and crushed ice for serving
- Decorative fresh mint, if you’re feeling fancy
- A cocktail shaker
- A fancy, fancy glass to drink from
how to make it
First, decide whether to use simple syrup or sugar. You can purchase simple syrup, or (as the name suggests) it’s super simple to make at home – and a great thing to keep in your cocktail cupboard. It’s a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar – add to a small saucepan, and simmer for about 3 minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool – simple!
Brew your peppermint tea for 5-10 minutes in 50ml of freshly boiled water - the longer you brew, the more minty the final flavour. Allow to cool, or pour over some ice for a speedy reduction.
If you’ve chosen to use sugar rather than simple syrup, add this to the tea while it’s hot to dissolve. Otherwise, add your simple syrup to the chilled concentrate.
Add your bourbon – whether that’s a single or double we’ll leave up to you!
Shake over ice and strain into your fanciest glass, topping with fresh crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig or two, find yourself a wide brimmed sun hat, and fan yourself lazily while you do declare how mighty fine it is out today!
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