Lately I have been In search of my roots. About two years ago I did my family tree. Although some things were a surprise like being related to the Dalton gang, others I already knew, that many of my ancestors were Virginian. Last weekend I ventured to Richmond to see the sights and source props for my food photography. Richmond has old charming homes, historical sites galore, and lovely magnolia trees that fill the air with an intoxicating scent. With the temperatures sweltering in Virginia once again the perfect recipe for this post was a boozy summer cocktail: The Mint Julep. We have lightened the sugar to make it just right. Make up a batch, and sit out on your porch and watch the fireflies.
The key to the best Mint Julep is to use mint-infused simple syrup. Don’t worry, it is incredibly easy and you can also use any left-over minted syrup to sweeten lemonade or iced tea.
1 ounce minted simple syrup (recipe below)
2 cups crushed ice
2 ounces bourbon
Splash of water
Place about 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a highball glass and muddle to release the mint flavor. Add crushed ice.
Fill a shaker container with crushed ice. Pour bourbon and syrup over crushed ice and shake well. Strain into your crushed ice-filled glass and stir. Garnish with additional mint leaves.
Combine 1 part water, one part granulated sugar and 1 part mint leaves in a medium saucepan. Crush the mint leaves with a muddler to release the mint oils. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the syrup to remove the leaves and cool. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator.