Classic Mint Julep
(Makes 1 (8-ounce) julep)
3 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
1 (4-inch) cocktail straw or coffee stirrer
1 fresh mint sprig
Powdered sugar (optional)
Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup.
Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors.
Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice.
Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup sugar*
1 cup water
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
Garnish: fresh mint leaves
Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a cruet or airtight container, discarding mint leaves. Cover and chill 4 hours. Garnish, if desired. Syrup may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month.
*3/4 cup sugar/no-calorie sweetener may be substituted.