Basil (not mint) Julep
(If you place a short cocktail straw near the basil sprig garnish, you can enhance the pleasure of the drink by sniffing the fragrance as you sip.)
3 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. basil simple syrup (recipe below)
2 Tbsp (1 oz) bourbon
1 (4-inch) cocktail straw
1 fresh basil sprig (you DO have basil in your herb garden, doncha?)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Place the basil leaves and basil simple syrup in a julep cup or 8 to 10 oz glass. Gently press the leaves against the side of the cup with the back of a spoon to relase the oils.
Pack the cup tightly with crushed ice and pour the boubon over the ice.
Insert the straw, placing the basil sprig directly next to the straw.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you wish.
BASIL SIMPLE SYRUP
(This recipe makes about a cup and a half. After making it, cool it for an hour and chill for a day. Make the syrup the day before you plan to make your Basil Julep. Once the basil is discarded, keep the syrup in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. BTW. . .it goes great in your unsweetened iced tea!)
1 cup sugar
1 Cup Water
1 cup firmly packed fresh basil sprigs
Bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Boil, stirring often, 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat; add the basil and cool completely (about an hour). Pour into a glass gar. Cover and chill 24 hours.
Remove and discard basil.
(If you insist on a MINT julep, substitute mint for the basil in these recipes)