My mother is a huge fan of horse racing. Ethically, we have had some serious talks, but there is something about the sheer brute power of it all that sucks her in. In late celebration of Kentucky Derby, and almost on time celebration of Mother’s Day, I decided to whip up a couple of apricot mint juleps. These drinks are light and refreshing, and very easily adaptable. That also look deceptively complex and classy.
An important disclaimer: Cocktails are all about ratios rather than quantity. This is great because it makes recipes highly adaptable. Often, though, without a jigger it is difficult to achieve the proper measurements. For this recipe, I used a quarter cup measure for everything. To adjust the recipe one could easily use the one to three ratio of 1/4 cups and 3/4 cups to create a larger batch.
Ingredients for six cocktails:
Bourbon of some sort. I would suggest Four Roses for its slight sweetness and smoothness, but Makers Mark will do just fine. There are a lot of options here, but don’t spend too much since we are mixing rather than sipping
One package or bundle Mint
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cups boiling water
It is always nice to have a stirrer of some sort, perhaps a bamboo stick with a fat fresh slice of apricot on the end to agitate the ingredients.
Make an apricot simple syrup. Boil one cup water (because I assume some is lost in the boiling process and boiling less than a cup of water just seems silly). Finely dice two apricots and place in the bottom of a bowl that can handle heat. Top with sugar. Pour boiling water over the sugary fruit and stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved. With a fork or potato masher, smash apricot bits until well incorporated. It should look something like this:
From here, each cup is generally prepped individually. Hypothetically, a large batch could be made, but the mint needs to be firmly muddled to release flavor. Spoon four or five spoonfuls into each cup. Add about seven mint leaves into apricot slurry and mash. If you have a muddler, that will work the best. I used the back of a spoon to smash the leaves against the side of the glass. Once mint is incorporated and fragrant it is sufficiently muddled
Fill glass near to the top with crushed ice. Ice is an important part of any delicious cocktail. Something about the crushed ice is just oh so perfect in a julep. Pour a quarter cup whiskey over the ice. Add one half cup soda water, or just top off the glass.
Enjoy this light and refreshing cocktail anytime you feel like dawning a big hat.