The Mint Julep is about as “southern” as it gets, and it gets quite a bit of play during the Kentucky Derby. Now, I don’t believe that “southern” is an adjective, but if so it could be used to describe my dad’s fraternity: Kappa Alpha Order. My dad was a KA in the 60s at a small school in South Carolina, and is still very close with quite a few of his brothers.
I remember quite a few fraternity stories from my dad when I was growing up, especially about their famous Mint Julep recipe – which isn’t like other mint juleps…he calls it the KA Mint Julep, because it was the recipe they used, and he hasn’t seen it made this way since. Well, after years and years of trying, I was able to pry the recipe out of him…it is with great pleasure that I give you the KA Mint Julep:
The Day Before:
Per drink, take one teaspoon of soda water, one teaspoon of powdered sugar, and 3 fresh mint leaves (multiply per drink).
Grind in a ball and pistol and drain all the liquid into a jar.
After the mint concoction has spent the night in the refrigerator and it’s time to party, fill a sterling silver julep cup with crushed or shaved ice all the way to the top.
Pour one ounce of juice into cup and let settle. Refill ice to the top of the cup. Pour three to four ounces of bourbon over ice. Do not stir!!!
Now, re-top with ice again and garnish with mint. Do not stir!!!!
Now, the secret: Take a straw and insert until about halfway down in the drink. When you take a sip, you should taste both mint and bourbon in a manner that you have never experienced before. Keep moving the straw as you drink to keep the balance correct. Do not stir!!!!
These are really fun to drink and talk about as you get tipsy. One is usually enough because nobody drinks one slowly… Unless you want a sloppy mess, I would suggest 80-proof bourbon or a short party. Have fun…
JRS is the author of Red Clay Soul