Mint Julep - NOT a Mojito Made with Bourbon

By Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Despite what some might tell you, a Mint Julep is not a Mojito made with bourbon. It's also definitely not a mojito made with bourbon, sour mix, Rose's lime juice and Sprite. Like most great cocktails, the Mint Julep is painfully easy to make - and just as easy to screw up. Hopefully this recipe will steer you in the right direction.

Recipe

Ingredients

12 - 20 mint leaves

1 tsp. 2:1 simple syrup

2 oz Bourbon

Instructions

Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in a mint julep cup or old fashioned glass.

Add Bourbon.

Fill cup or glass with crushed ice.

Garnish with a bunch of mint sprigs.

Comments
Dave Stolte 15 Aug 2012
11:05 am

Great idea, crushing ice in the Cuisinart. Could’ve used that last weekend, making Juleps for a crowd.

Trevor 15 Aug 2012
11:27 am

Great explanation and presentation.  I love that you’re calling out these ridiculous YouTube videos!  I consider the Mojito basically a Daiquiri with mint and a splash of club soda added.

I always have to link this video whenever a Mint Julep is mentioned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJV-O1e10z8

The best video on the Mint Julep and possible the best video on all of YouTube!  Thankfully, it’s the first one the pops up now when you search “Mint Julep”.


steve7500 15 Aug 2012
12:49 pm

Trevor, I can only say a very sincere,Thank You. That is a Classic.

brandonmerritt 15 Aug 2012
1:17 pm

My favorite part of this video is the presentation in the traditional, silver, mint julep cup. Personally, I like to use homegrown Kentucky mint and ice flown in from a distant glacier, but then it wouldn’t be quite as simple.

Gwydion Stone 15 Aug 2012
1:26 pm

Nice video, Jeffrey. 

“... sour mix, Rose’s lime juice and Sprite”?  Seriously?  Someone did that??

Trevor, when I saw your comment I was hoping that it would be a video of Chris McMillian.  I saw him do that at Tales in ‘06 and I’ve loved it ever since.  I need to learn that poem.

I believe it’s a good day for a julep.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler 15 Aug 2012
3:33 pm

Hey, Brandon, that Julep Cup is available at KegWorks and Cocktail Kingdom. I’ve got a full set and my guests love them.

a10tive1 15 Aug 2012
3:50 pm

Bravo!

steve7500 15 Aug 2012
4:04 pm

I have a KEGWORKS julep cup and it is great. I am looking for a real silver one and I will be happy.

Thomas Berner 26 Aug 2012
7:30 am

When it comes to Mint Juleps, I always think of this one: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZbzB7pbVT0

But here is my question: What kind of mint do you think works best in mint juleps. This summer, I tried to get some cuban mint (Mentha Nemorosa). But it seems this is hard to get.

David Roughgarden 26 Aug 2012
3:08 pm

That looks excellent!  I’d definitely employ the morganthaler method for a mint julep over a whiskey mojito; the presentation (and taste!) is so much better.

But JM, whats with the tone?  The first 30 seconds of this video have very little added value and make you look like a prick.  I understand that somebody has got to speak truth to bartending schools (and you are obviously a qualified critic), but does that message really have to open an otherwise solid production on the mint julep?

blair frodelius 27 Aug 2012
1:02 pm

Anyone have advice on how to keep silver julep cups looking their best?  I’m concerned that a polishing cloth may impart chemical flavors into the drink.

Cheers!

Blair
GoodSpiritsNews.com

steve7500 27 Aug 2012
2:58 pm

  Blair,being a jeweler I will tell you this, Never use a treated cloth on the in side surface of a drinking cup,glass,ect. Silver or white metal are different. Silver ( or plate)
can be polished with a light coat of polish and then wiped to a brite finish with a soft, all cotton or a good quality micro fiber cloth. A White Metal Cup ( Kegworks) is NOT silver and should be washed in warm water using dishwasher liquid. Then dry with a soft all cotton,micro fiber cloth. Then you can give it the final light dry/buff with the same. Those cups are very durable but the real danger is scratching. Take care.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler 28 Aug 2012
10:54 am

David - If you find my tone offensive, I’m going to recommend you skip the first few minutes of all of these videos and only watch the recipe. Sorry, but that’s just how I talk.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler 28 Aug 2012
10:55 am

Thomas - I recommend you use spearmint. Trust me on this one.

Ginty 2 Sep 2012
5:53 am

It’s tough-love, kids! We all need a little in our lives, and J-Mo’s the one to deliver it.

wally gosso 30 Sep 2012
12:55 am

Great presentation!!!

cbreets 29 Jan 2013
5:49 pm

Re: David Roughgarden -

First off, to state that what Jeffrey says in the first part of the video makes him “look like a prick” is certainly an exaggeration and more accurately makes YOU look like a prick.

A more important issue I would like to draw focus to is that obviously cocktails are a big part of American culture. Tragically the mint julep is a perfect example of a beautiful thing that people screw up all the time. (in my opinion) This explains the sort of response you may see from Jeffrey and other knowledgeable bartenders alike. It is important to understand this sort of relationship people have with cocktails. Not only do we want to drink something that tastes great, we desire a sense of connection with the past. We want something to be proud of that we can say is a firmly established American tradition. I would put forth that this is a big force behind cocktail geek feather rufflings, a defense of tradition and good taste.

Tom Dunder 31 Jan 2013
4:41 pm

We use the recipe from the Joy of Cooking (older edition, they dropped cocktails in later editions) where they have a couple of nice twists.  Your pour a pony of whiskey on top of the ice after the drink has been made - makes a great transition from pure whiskey to sweet minty goodness as you drink it.  Second, you take a whole stem of mint, say 4” longer than your glass, wet it, and shake powdered sugar on it then immerse in the drink.  Now you have a swizzle that smells great and adds to the drink.  They also have a wonderful quote on selecting the bourbon - they don’t tell you what kind to use, only that “The good is the enemy of the best”.  We enjoy Mint Juleps with every Triple Crown race.

charlie 2 May 2013
11:21 am

Dear baby Jesus, that MahaloCocktails video is horrifying. It’s almost as bad as the one Jeffrey’s talking about in his video. . Maybe it’s satire?

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