By Kari Gaffney
The final days of summer are upon us. I am not ready to say goodbye, so in celebration of keeping the spirit, I am sharing a favorite Mint Julep recipe. Mint Juleps are a traditional summer drink, served in silver frosted cups and adorned with mint sprigs. A classic southern drink, it is rumored to have originated in the 18th century. Just like sweet tea, it is a VERY sweet drink, so sipping slowly and taking your time might be a great idea overall. Hey, it’s a southern classic drink, and southerners do like their sweet drinks.
One thing for certain is there does seem to be a mix of ideas on how to make them. So, let’s explore; some folks feel rye whisky is the proper approach, to lessen the “sweetness,” while others recommend the opposite approach a wheat bourbon instead of rye. Both camps seem to agree, don’t get crazy with the mint. It is only meant to be a garnish. Additionally, be sure it is in the spearmint family for the right taste.
How To Make It – Simple:
Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour (wheat bourbon or rye whisky) over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired (but remember most powdered sugar has cornstarch in it). There are new organic powdered sugar alternatives cropping up; most are using tapioca. In an industry dominated by GMOs, standard cornstarch is cheap, but organic cornstarch is friggin’ hella expensive, motivating manufacturers to seek out cheaper organic alternatives, the most popular of which is tapioca.
Leftover simple syrup keeps refrigerated about one week and perfectly sweetens iced tea. That’s it Y’all!