The Greenbrier's Mint Julep
The mint julep's history is about as muddled as the mint in this drink. Some say it was the Virginians who first took this drink, while others believe it originated in Kentucky. Rather than using simple syrup, as most do now, it originally called for sugar and water to be muddled with the mint. The Greenbrier hotel and resort was probably the first to offer the julep, at its lobby bar, and more than likely gussied it up with a silver cup. This is very close to that recipe.
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12 fresh mint sprigs, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
2 fl. oz. simple syrup (see below for instructions)
4 fl. oz. bourbon (preferably Maker's Mark)
Place 2 old-fashioned glasses or julep cups in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Place 6 mint sprigs and 1 fl. oz. simple syrup in the bottom of each glass. Muddle until the mint is crushed.
Fill the glasses with crushed ice and divide the bourbon between the glasses. Stir until the glasses are frosted and the drink is extremely cold. Garnish with the remaining mint and serve.
To make your own simple syrup:
Stir together 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is slightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool before using. The syrup will keep for at least a couple of weeks in your refrigerator in a covered container. Makes 1 cup.