A traditional mint julep is served in a silver chalice, presenting an appealing layer of frost on the outside and insulating the chill inside the cocktail. Serve in the proper vessel and there is no mistaking that your mint julep is refreshingly ice cold. If time permits, chill the glass in the freezer ahead of time for the coldest possible cocktail.
10 to 12 fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp sugar
3 oz bourbon
mint sprig (for garnish)
glass: silver julep cup (or highball)
Tear apart the larger mint leaves and place them in the bottom of the cup. Sprinkle sugar on sugar and add a light splash of cold water. The water and sugar will provide the touch of texture and abrasion needed to extract the fragrant oils and flavor from the mint. Using a cocktail muddler, lightly crush the mint and sugar with a gentle pressing motion.
Fill the cup with crushed ice packed to the top. Pour in Kentucky bourbon. Using a bar spoon, stir the mint, bourbon and ice briskly until the cup begins to frost on the outside. The ice will melt a little, creating room at the top to pack in more crushed ice, and stir once again.
Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint. Lightly bruise the mint by clapping the leaves gently, or striking the sprig softly against your hand. This will release the aromatic oils of the mint. Handle the cup carefully to preserve the frost and serve without a straw.