Celebrations: Jim Hewes mint julep

Place 8 to 10 red-stemmed mint leaves, 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar and an ounce of bourbon (we prefer Maker’s Mark) in the bottom of a Collins glass or a Julep glass or a tall bar glass, and lightly muddle this using the heel of a butter knife until it forms a tea.

photo/creative commons-queen of subtle

Fill the glass halfway with finely crushed or cracked ice, and then vigorously stir using the business end of the butter knife to cut through the mix and ensure that the taste will be uniform throughout. Add another heaping of the ice, keeping it tightly packed almost like a snow cone.

Pour in equal measures of bourbon and sparkling branch water (like San Pellegrino). Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint to which the stem has been bruised (to release a bit more of that mint flavor), add a twist of lemon peel, and then dust the top with granulated sugar. Serve with two short stirrer straws so that you have to put your nose right into the bouquet to sip it.