I must admit that I am an Ambassador for Maker's Mark, my friend Bruce Madsen nominated me. It is my duty to pass this along to you!
THE PERFECT MINT JULEP (From Maker’s Mark Whisky)
1 liter Maker’s Mark
lots of fresh spearmint leaves
1 c. distilled water
1 c. granulated sugar
powdered sugar for garnish
mint sprigs for garnish
- To prepare the mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves – wash and place in a small mixing bowl. Cover with 3 oz. of Maker’s Mark. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in a clean, soap-free piece of cotton cloth and vigorously wring the mint bundle over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times. Then set aside
- To prepare the simple syrup, mix 1 c. of granulated sugar and 1 c. of water in a cooking pot. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.
- To prepare the mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 c. of Maker’s Mark into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. (Pour the remaining whisky from the liter bottle into another container and save it for another purpose). Add 1 c. of the simple syrup to the Maker’s Mark.
- Now, begin adding the mint extract 1 T. at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You may have to leave the room a time or two to clear your nose. The tendency is to use too much mint. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste (generally about 3 tablespoons).
- When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to "marry" the flavors.
- To serve the mint julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) half full with shaved ice. Insert a sprig of mint and then pack in more ice to about an inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to one inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.
- When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice. Then serve.
Perfect mint julep recipe published in our May, 2008 Menu Minder, Issue #295.