Simple southern pleasures

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 ”Any guy who’d put rye in a mint julep and crush the leaves would put scorpions in a baby’s bed.”

Irvin S Cobb

A nice simple southern drink for the summery days (especially this humidity London does so well).

As the esteemed Mr Cobb notes, the key here is treating your mint well; a light slap, maybe briefly rolled between the palms, but never crushed. (Pepper)mint releases really sweet aromatic oils at first, but when you start to beat it up you’re making peppermint tea. Sadly.

So, I’ve used brandy here, but you can use a decent bourbon (as usual, I prefer Buffalo Trace), or a Rye, though the spiciness can be a bit overpowering in this drink.

Really, very simple. Get your crushed ice ready (home tools; a hammer and a tea towel), rough up your mint a little, a liberal slash of gomme (10ml should do it) and a healthy double of your spirit of choice.

Half fill the glass with crushed ice, give it a decent stir, top up the glass, stir again and add dry ice to sip through on top. Garnish with a sprig of mint you’ve slapped against your wrist to get the smell really going.

Drink with some Erykah Badu and, in my case, a bunch of tory hipsters celebrating 60 years of an old lady living on benefits directly below your window.

Note: you can (and should) serve this in metal julep cups. These are awesome, but hard to get hold of other than through catering supplies or friendly spirit reps, so either use a decent rocks glass or break out a jamjar.