Julep Time

Oh what the hell !! This excruciating summer , selling mojitos to beer lovers, part of me itches for a cloyingly sweet, bourbon loaded drink that reminds me of an adult lemonade stand. Julep - Mint Julep. The Mojito is here to stay , but if you are a bit more experimemtal and adventurous, let me introduce you to the subtle complexity of a perfectly crafted potion with a hint of mint, the darkness of a fine bourbon, and only the faintest touch of sweetness.

Like many other classic cocktails, not so well known in these parts of the world where we imbibe our poison, Mint Julep is living in obsequity compared to many a glamourous sounding drinks. Mint Julep was orginally invented during american derby times in the southern states of America and because Kentucky whiskey is famous around, Bouborne was a natural choice. Here is the recipie:

6-8 leaves of fresh mint, the smaller and fresher, the better (if they’re really small, toss in a few more)
Loads of ice

1 teaspoon sugar or 2 tsp simple syrup
75 ml — good Bourbon (American Whiskey made from Corn) , emphasis on the good — Jim Beam is most accessible though Maker`s Mark is better

Gently, very gently muddle the mint in the bottom of a tall glass, taking care to swab the sides of the glass with the oil seeping from the lightly bruised mint leaves. Add the syrup or the sugar (with a few drops of water to help it dissolve), and a little of the bourbon. Gently stir, then fill the glass with well-crushed ice*. Add the rest of the bourbon, and a little more ice so the glass is completely full. Stir briskly until the glass frosts. Top with more ice if needed (if you want to get really decadent, sprinkle a little Jamaican rum over the top), and garnish with a few beautiful mint sprigs. Skewer with a straw, cut short enough so you have to get your face right down in the mint. You can sprinkle the top with powdered sugar if you like, but you think you might wind up getting it on the tip of my nose and looking like an idiot, skip it. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so before indulging.

Julep enthusiasts around the world have deabted to death the real construction methodology of the drink, but my personal favourite is as popularised by one of the greatest mixologists of our times - Chris McMillan. Chris has been a cockatil guru working for many a big glitzy 5-star bars in America and more recently in New Orleans. Thanks to internet I was able to trace him down to Marriot Reanissance - New Orleans and got to speak to him as well. He does away with the mint after muddling them in the glass, just leaving the essences of mint in the glass. Rest is same.Whatever is the preparation, enjoying it in more than one way is a good thing, even if one is eveil and wrong.

If you are a whiskey moghul, susbisting 51 weeks out of the year , mixing whiskey with soda, let me show you a new religion. Plant your feet at the bar counter of Take 5, and see what great degree of attention, humble respect and dedication is found in the Julep.

Watch out for a fabulous poem I will posting followng this on the MINT JULEP!!!


1 Response to "Julep Time"

Siva Priya said... April 19, 2009 at 5:23 AM

Sorry dunno wht this is! Have to taste to comment....

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About Shank

Shank is a cocktail enthusiast & a self-proclaimed mixologist. He likes to experiment with spirits. He has traveled around a bit visiting hundreds of bars and tasting the buzziest of alcohols, cocktails and shooters.

Shank spent early years of his dizziness in Mumbai. He has lived in Hyderabad for long and for the past few years is chilling his glass in Bangalore.

He is currently busy spreading his love for spirits through this blog - Cocktail Nirvana.

This blog is part of his ongoing quest for fine spirits, creative cocktails and classic mixology. These online journals will capture his cocktail inventions, adventures with alcohol, trips to bars, meeting with ace mixologists, lessons in the art of drinking and much more.

This apart, ignoring good judgment, the fine folks at www.mybangalore.com also allow him to take up valuable space on their portal with his words & pictures.

Away from Nirvana