How to Make a Classic Mint Julep

Less ingredients means less to screw up, right? Wrong. There's only three parts to a mint julep, but if the bourbon, mint, and simple syrup aren't balanced just-so, you'll end up with nothing more than a crappy "mixed drink." Tom Macy shows you how to make the centuries-old cocktail

Released on 7/24/2014

Credits

Starring: Tom Macy

Location provided by Dick and Jane

Music "Keep It Coming" (Instrumental)

Transcript

00:00
(funky music)
00:03
Today I'm gonna show you how
00:04
to make a traditional mint julep,
00:05
one of the oldest cocktails in existence
00:07
and also one of the best.
00:08
You just need three ingredients,
00:10
bourbon, mint and simple syrup.
00:12
We're gonna build this drink right in the glass.
00:14
You can make in a glass like this,
00:15
this beautiful Kentucky Derby silver cup.
00:18
A rocks glass works just as well.
00:20
So we're gonna start with a pinch of mint,
00:22
eight to ten leaves.
00:23
Half an ounce of simple syrup.
00:28
And now muddle this just to extract
00:30
the aromatic oils in the mint,
00:32
but not to pulverize it.
00:35
Now we can add our bourbon.
00:36
Two and a half ounces of that.
00:38
When making any cocktail, measuring is really important.
00:40
Cocktails are all about balance,
00:42
so a quarter ounce in either direction
00:44
can sometimes make the difference
00:45
between a good and a really bad drink.
00:47
So always measure your ingredients.
00:50
So we've got all our ingredients in here,
00:51
and we want to add our ice.
00:53
Crushed ice really is best for mint juleps
00:55
because it melts a lot faster,
00:57
and also stretches it out.
00:58
This is a very stiff drink.
00:59
It's like 85% bourbon.
01:01
If you don't have crushed ice at home
01:02
you can easily just crack some with
01:04
the back of a spoon or you can
01:05
put it in a blender or food processor,
01:07
but I really recommend crushed ice.
01:10
Just a few times.
01:11
(knocking)
01:13
And then just give it a gentle stir
01:15
just to get that dilution going,
01:17
blend the ingredients.
01:18
You eventually start to see some
01:19
frost appear on the outside of the cup,
01:21
and you'll know that the drink is ready.
01:24
Let's just finish it off with a few more
01:25
cubes on top.
01:29
Now we'll garnish it with the most
01:31
beautiful sprig of mint we can find,
01:33
and you are all set.
01:34
And remember, the mint julep is
01:36
not just for the Kentucky Derby.
01:37
You can enjoy these all summer long.
01:40
If you like this video and you're
01:41
looking for more tips to step up
01:42
your bartending game, subscribe to the GQ channel.
01:45
We've got lots more where that came from.
01:48
(chimes ring)