The history of the Mint Julep recipe dates back to a 1000-year-old Persian medicinal Rose Water remedy. The tonic was called a “Juleb’ or ‘Guleb” and is the basis for the modern cocktail. The Mint Julep recipe that we drink today dates back to the 1800s and is a pretty simple cocktail recipe, Kentucky Bourbon, sugar, and mint leaves served on the rocks in the historic Julep Cup.
The Sterling Silver Julep cup, pricing upwards of $850 has its own interesting history. Designed with an extended rim along the top and bottom of the cup, the purpose of the rims is for the drinker to hold the cup in these locations so as to allow the crushed ice inside to create a nice frost on the outside. Luckily there are glass and pewter varieties of the cup available for those of us not willing or able to spend $850 for a single glass. At this year’s Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve is selling their Mint Juleps in a commemorative glass, a single drink will cost you a reasonable $2000.00. The good news is you get to keep the cup, next rounds on you, ok?
I love the history of the Mint Julep and the sweetened rose water tonic. In the 1600s, it was John Milton, author of ‘Paradise Lost’ that first used the word ‘Juleps’, describing it as a “spirits of balm and fragrant syrups”. Although not what you get at the Derby, I love the addition of the rose petals and I make my Mint Julep with a rosewater simple syrup flooded with petals from my garden, I think you’re going to love my Mint Julep recipe.
Rose Water recipe:
- 6 Roses, fragrant, any color will work, chemical-free, organic is best
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
-Pluck all the petals from the roses and rinse well
-Bring water to a boil, remove from the heat
-Add rose petals to the hot water and let steep as if making tea. Let steep for 20-30 minutes until the color has faded from the petals
-Strain to remove petals
Rosewater Simple Syrup recipe:
- 1 Cup Rosewater
- 1 Cup Sugar
-Combine sugar with warm rose water, stir to dissolve
Here’s my Mint Julep recipe:
- 2 Ounces Bourbon
- 1 Ounce Rosewater Simple Syrup
- 8 Mint Leaves
- 8 Rose Petals
- Add the mint leaves, rose petals and Rosewater simple syrup to a Julep Cup or highball glass, lightly muddle
- Add Bourbon, stir to combine
- Top off the glass with crushed ice
- Garnish with mint sprigs and rose petals