Hot days are here to stay, and nothing is more refreshing than a cocktail with mint and crushed ice. Our pick is the mint julep, a classic with Southern roots made popular by Henry Clay in the 1800s and still served in a silver tumbler. It was adopted as the official drink of the Churchill Downs racetrack in 1938, and therefore became the unofficial drink for the entire country in the month of May. Typically a mixture of bourbon, sugar, water and mint served over crushed ice, variations sub or include gin and vodka. One such twist we love is at Handsome Harry’s. It calls for the elderflower spirit St. Germain—and if a customer craves an oomph of sweetness—a splash of peach schnapps.
- 2 oz. Makers Mark
- 1 oz. St. Germaine
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- Splash soda water
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
Muddle mint and powdered sugar, add ice. Add Makers Mark, St. Germaine. Shake until chilled top with soda water. For a girly touch, add a splash of peach schnapps.
To serve, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.