The mint julep started as a medicinal tonic – most likely the magical healing powers were brought on by the generous pour of whiskey or rum that went into the cocktail – but these days it’s more highly associated with horseracing in America’s Deep South. The drink is traditionally served in a pewter cup, but since we are leaving out the whiskey, we can let go of the pewter cup too…
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 cups crushed ice
½ cup lemonade
Fresh mint leaves to garnish
Combine the water, sugar and chopped mint in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat. Set aside to cool and let the mint steep.
Fill two tall cocktail glasses with crushed ice. Pour half the lemonade into each glass and add a splash of the mint sugar syrup to taste. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve.
You can make the mint syrup as a shrub to further enhance flavours and longevity. Here’s how to make a shrub.