It was late in the afternoon on an oppressive day. The Louisianaians barman served in a voice like the neighbouring Mississippi River – slow, deep and muddy – and made the drink with the same slow, steady precision. The wooden bar seemed unchanged for many a decade and somehow seemed so suited to the area and the drink.
Simply muddle (softly mash) a handful of spearmint leaves with sugar and a spoonful of chilled water (the barman swore by the importance of the spoon of water). Tip into a glass, add bourbon and crushed ice and the drink is ready.
The tang of the mint makes the julep an extremely refreshing drink on a humid day while the sweetness offsets the strength of the corn whisky. The mint julep is renown as the drink of choice during America’s most famouse horse race, the Kentucky Derby.
Similar in recipe to a mojito and a Brazilian caipirinho, mint leaves make a wonderful addition to many drinks and is worth trying at home as summer approaches.
At the start of each month, Travel Wonders highlights a characteristic drink experienced on his travels. Previous Drinks Around the World include Mint Tea from Morocco, a Bloody Caesar from Canada, a Pisco Sour from South America and the Singapore Sling
Photo Credit: mint julep