When your garden is overrun with mint, it’s time to think beyond garnishes for fruit salads. I muddled my way through mojitos and decided to make another classic, the mint julep. Alas, the julep cup I once owned, a gift from the high school sorority I pledged in Richmond, Virginia (legal drinking age be damned) disappeared several moves ago. So I used the wrong kind of glass but to compensate, I found an authentic Southern recipe from the Atlanta chapter of the Junior League in The Junior League Centennial Cookbook : 750 of the Most Treasured Recipes from 200 Junior Leagues (1996). I used up 4 cups of mint sprigs, plus more for the garnish. There’s still a prolific mint patch in the garden, but now I know how to put it to good use. I just need to find time to go shopping for a julep cup.
Sandy’s Mint Julep (1990s)
Mint syrup (makes enough for 25-30 juleps):
2 cups sugar
4 cups mint sprigs
For each mint julep:
1 1/2 ounces mint syrup
2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- To make the mint syrup: Boil 4 cups of water with the sugar over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the mint sprigs and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside overnight. Strain out and discard the mint leaves.
- To make each julep: Measure the mint syrup and bourbon into a silver julep cup. Fill with crushed ice. Add a straw and garnish with mint sprigs. To frost the cup, dry the outside and refrigerate at least one hour, or freeze. Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving.
Note: If you don’t have a big crowd coming over for cocktails, cover and store leftover mint syrup in the refrigerator. Or make half a batch.