The first time I made a Mint Julep - way back when in my fledgling mixology days - I did NOT use the good stuff. I used some cheap bottle of bourbon that was kicking around in the back of my liquor cabinet. The resulting drink was rubbish, and I unwisely deduced that I did not like Juleps. How silly of me! Once I schooled myself in bourbon I realized the error of my ways.
In the picture above, L-R, lemon balm, thyme, and mint.
Crushed ice is essential for this drink, and we crushed ours by hand using our wooden muddler. We placed cubed ice into a large shaker, and gave it quite a few good thwacks until it looked the way we wanted it.
Spring Herb Julep
Makes 1 cocktail
- fresh mint, 5-6 leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
- fresh lemon balm, 5-6 leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
- fresh thyme, 1 long sprig, plus a sprig for garnish
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 TB water
- 2 oz Maker's Mark bourbon (or other good bourbon)
- crushed ice
- julep cup (not completely essential, but alway delightful)
1. In your julep cup, add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir for a minute to let sugar fully dissolve.
2. Place the herb sprigs into the julep cup, and muddle into the sugar water. Do it enough to release the herbal flavor, but not enough to completely brutalize the leaves.
2. Stir in the 2 ounces of Maker's Mark. Add crushed ice to fill the cup to the top. Garnish with remaining herb sprigs.