This past Saturday was Kentucky Derby Day, and as everyone knows the trade mark of the Derby is the Mint Julep, well and the hats. I ventured into the realm of cocktails this weekend and was very pleased and maybe a little scared of how much I enjoyed this drink...
1 part Mint Simple Syrup
1 part water
1 part Bourbon or Whiskey
For the simple syrup: combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small pan, boil for 5 minutes. While boiling pull 1/2cup of mint leaves (usually 1 bunch) off the stem and drop in the bottom of a cup or pitcher. After the 5 minutes are up pour the syrup over the mint leaves and muddle (basically pound with a spoon) cover the mixture and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to over night. When time to serve strain the mint leaves out of the simple syrup.
I find it easier to mix a pitcher of cocktails at a time as opposed to one cocktail at a time, this way you get to enjoy the party and not spend all your time mixing drinks. In a large pitcher combine 1 cup mint syrup, 1 cup water and 1 cup whiskey (I recommend Evan Williams), pour into cups with ice and garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
The sweetened minty whiskey is so refreshing (and strong) on a warm southern afternoon. I hope you enjoy, and remember drink responsibly!