Summertime brings the best ingredient for the perfect hot weather drink: mint. we've picked two drink recipes you should definitely try. Cheers!
Photography by Catherine Neill Juchheim
The Best Juleps for your Two Lips
Picked by Mark A. Newman. Photography by Charles Punzo.
To shamefully paraphrase U2: I finally found what I'm looking for. Since my move down here almost two years ago, I quickly became addicted to the most Southern of Southern cocktails--the mint julep!
From hotel bars and tourist traps in Louisiana to upscale restaurants in Northwest Florida and across all points in between, I have ordered, sampled, and even sent back these concoctions and I have finally settled upon my favorite: the Eight75 lounge at the Beau Rivage casino in Biloxi.
Fresh mint is de riguer. If there's no fresh mint leaves to be had, there is no julep to be had. Muddled but not bruised, the mint leaves hold court at the bottom of the glass as the crushed ice is packed in (you can use cubes, but it's just not the same). Next, an ounce and a half (give or take) of Woodford Reserve bourbon, a more refined elixir than say, Jack, Jim, or Evan. Maker's Mark is a good second choice. Simple syrup is the next ingredient and appears to be as rare as fresh mint in most bars. This is not just equal parts sugar and water; it has to be mixed and brought to a boil (muddled mint leaves in the simple syrup add an extra zing).
The potent potable is then stirred with a cocktail bar spoon (It's the one with the long handle that the bartender spins by rubbing his palms together). Garnished with a sprig of mint and you've been handed a frosty glass of paradise.
1-1/2 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon (or more, depending on your taste)
2 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs
Combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and muddle the mint. Refrigerate overnight. Remove mint leaves and store for use.
Muddle the mint leaves at the bottom of the glass, then top with crushed ice. Add the simple syrup and the bourbon. Stir with a cocktail spoon until glass frosts, then garnish with a sprig of mint and serve cold!
Picked by Catherine Neill Juchheim. Photography by Catherine Neill Juchheim.
This has to be my absolute favorite beverage ever. Mint sweet tea was a summer staple at the Neill household, and everyone from my mom to my aunts and my grandmother had huge beds of mint surrounding the house for just that purpose. It's the one thing I miss since I've moved away, so that just tells me that I need to head home and beg for a few mint plants for my own back yard!
Serves 8 -- Preparation time: 10 minutes
10 sprigs of mint (more or less, depending on your taste)
8 cups boiling water
5 regular tea bags
1/2 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and steep tea bags and mint for five minutes. Remove tea bags and add lemon juice and sugar. Stir well and strain. Chill and serve over ice with a sprig of fresh mint.
we asked our staff: what is your favorite summer elixir?
Mark A. Newman
The first taste of an ice cold Coors Light on a hot day is wicked awesome!
Catherine Neill Juchheim
Mint tea (unleaded) or a Mint Julep (leaded)
Abita Purple Haze
Blue Rock Stars...my new obsession!
Director of Advertising
Guinness on tap
Regional Advertising Manager
Unsweetened ice tea
Joseph M. Palvado, Jr.
Regional Advertising Manager
Too easy! A root beer float! If it comes from Lloyds in Baton Rouge, it's even better!
Ooh, top shelf margarita on the rock, no salt!
Director of Finance
Vodka tonic with lime
Accounts Payable Specialist
BUD LIGHT!! Something about sun and beer!
Anything with caffeine