We were invited to a ball for a charity for which we volunteer. As it happens, the women who taught me to make Mint Juleps were there, so I made a batch and brought them over.
I've had good luck with infusing the mint in the bourbon for several hours in advance - several hours as in "more than two".
In this case, I started with Paul Harrington's recipe:
- 3 oz Bourbon
- 2-4 Teaspoons of simple syrup
- 4 to 6 sprigs mint
If you read about mint, you'll find a lot of conflicting information about muddling, not muddling, etc. I tend to agree with the folks who say that if you crush the leaves you'll get bad flavors along with the good. So I very lightly bruise the leaves - lay them on my palm and slap them.
I also wanted to add some other flavor notes, so I added some peach brandy* - 3 oz - which is also pretty sweet stuff - but not as sweet as syrup.
Anyhow, my ratios turned out to be a lucky guess. Not too dry, not too sweet. O said she couldn't really taste the peach brandy, so next time I'd add one more ounce of peach brandy and see if that note comes out more.
As always, serve over crushed ice, and stir the drinks well before serving to get some of the ice to melt and dilute the bourbon - it really opens up the flavors. Garnish with a mint sprig, and remember they are STRONG** - you are pouring three ounces of Bourbon into each glass.
*I've seen some old recipes calling for peach brandy, but I think that meant a dry, high proof brandy made from peaches - I don't know if anyone makes anything like that now. I used DeKuyper - didn't have time for a liquor store run to see if I could find something from Marie Brizard or Mathilde, etc.
**The last time we served Mint Juleps was in 2006. People grew sufficiently intoxicated that there was very naughty behavior after we left the party.