J is for Julep

You might have thought that juleps came in only one flavor i.e., mint. In fact, a julep is any sort of fruit- or herb-infused cocktail, usually sweetened.

If you've never had one, you'll be surprised at how refreshing a mint julep can be. Crush the fresh mint leaves in the bottom of your glass, splash in the bourbon, as much simple syrup as you like and fill with crushed ice. Stir for a while before the first sip. You could strain it all off into a highball glass, or (as I do) sip straight from the muddling glass. It's a bit like sweet mint tea, with a nice, high-noted kick.

Here's this, though: you don't have to use mint.

Try crushing lemon balm leaves and using light rum. (Lemon balm is almost as easy to grow as mint.) Try crushing a rosemary sprig and using plum brandy. Or crushing some peaches and cinnamon sticks and using dark rum. Or go truly crazy and crush a few fresh basil leaves and use gin.

Instead of the simple syrup, use a bit of molasses. Or honey.

If you ever wanted a reason for an herb garden, the julep is a good one.

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  1. Lemon balm is *as* easy grow as mint? Try easier. Stays green to 20F and is quite happy to take over any space you give it and more. So yeah, I have rum, and I have lemon balm, and I have molasses. Definitely something to try.

  2. The one time we made mint juleps, we had so much mint syrup left over, I ended up using it in a sweet roll dough - for which it worked perfectly.

  3. I must admit I have never even heard of a julep. But anything with mint and syrup sounds good to me.

  4. *hmmm* Now I wonder if I have to change my post. It was about the mint julep. :O) That lemon drink sounds nice too. +1 and commented on G+. Following from minion team AJ's wHooligans at the #atozchallenge.

  5. Mint is a ubiquitous plant. If you don't have any growing near you, just ask around - someone else will. Fresh mint leaves are MUCH better than mint syrup or extract.

  6. I would be willing to try almost all of those variations - except for any involving gin. *shudder* I've tried it and it's just not for me.


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