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A Lazy Take on a Refreshing Classic
There is nothing more refreshing, or more Southern, than a delicious mint julep. Made from bourbon, mint leaves, sugar, and lots of ice, the mint julep is a staple of Kentucky summers.
Unfortunately, this drink does require some work and a few supplies. Ideally, you want crushed ice, fresh mint leaves, and a large tin cup for putting it together. What if you don't have all the supplies handy—but are really craving some sweet, minty, boozy, rich, goodness?
This lazy mint julep recipe is just for you! It's a great, easy recipe for an everyday mint julep. The most labor-intensive part of this recipe is making a mint syrup ahead of time, but once you do this you can make easy mint juleps all the time, without any extra special ingredients!
For the mint syrup (make ahead of time):
- 12-16 mint leaves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
For the drink:
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- 2.5 ounces high-quality bourbon (My favorite for this recipe is Buffalo Trace. Makers Mark is also a classic.)
- 1/4 ounce premade mint syrup (see above)
- Ice cubes
- Extra mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Bitters (optional)
Step 1: Make the Mint Syrup
- Tear up the mint leaves.
- Combine all ingredients (water, sugar, and mint) into a saucepan and bring to a light boil.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, it's done! I like to simmer it a tad longer to thicken it and make sure the mint flavor infuses well.
- Let it sit and cool for at least 1-2 hours. You can store it in the fridge for weeks.
Step 2: Make the Drink
- Measure out 1/2 ounce of the mint syrup, and the bourbon (2.5 ounces) into an old-fashioned glass (or similar sized vessel).
- Add ice cubes until the liquid takes up most of the glass.
- Optional: Shake some bitters on top.
- Give it a few stirs with a spoon or bar spoon.
- If you have more mint leaves lying around when you make it, add some on top as a garnish. Enjoy!