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How To Make the Best Mint Julep, Ever.

on 04/05/13 at 9:35 am

Booze News

imagesThis weekend, brace your livers for impact. Sunday is Cinco de Drinko Mayo. Thankfully, I already have that base covered with how to make an awesome margarita. But first, it’s time to get out your ludicrously oversized hats for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. If it’s time for the Derby, it’s time for mint juleps.

While reading up on mint juleps, I discovered two things: First, everyone is convinced that their method of making a mint julep is the best and only way to do it. Second, no two bartenders make theirs the same way. Naturally, I have my own way of doing things, mostly courtesy of Gary Regan and his excellent book The Joy of Mixology.

A common thread with many mint juleps is to muddle mint and sugar in a glass, much like when making mojitos. I’m in the minority here, but I think mint juleps are better when the mint serves solely as an aromatic garnish.

I know what you’re thinking: How can I call it a mint julep when there isn’t any mint in the drink? There’s a simple explanation: Most of what we perceive as taste is actually smell. Don’t believe me? I have a science experiment for you. Have someone blindfold you, and hold your nose shut. Then, take a bite of an apple, and a bite of an onion. The two will taste indistinguishable. That’s because anything past the basic tastes (sweet, salt, sour, bitter, umami) is carried through scent.