by Owen Ingalls July 13, 2023 2 min read
Welcome to a new and tantalizing twist on a classic Southern cocktail: the Smoked Mint Julep. This elevated version of the traditional Mint Julep enhances the rustic, robust flavors of whiskey with a hint of smokiness, making for a truly unforgettable drinking experience.
If you're a fan of cocktails that marry complexity with tradition, you'll love the Smoked Mint Julep.
The Mint Julep is a cocktail with a rich past, steeped in the traditions of the American South. With roots dating back to the 18th century, the Mint Julep was originally a morning drink intended as a tonic to ward off the heat.
As time passed, the cocktail evolved, becoming synonymous with Southern hospitality and elegance. The Mint Julep is famously the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, with over 120,000 served at the event each year.
The choice of whiskey is a critical component of the Mint Julep, and in the case of the Smoked Mint Julep, it's even more paramount. Bourbon is the traditional choice, known for its smooth, full-bodied flavor with notes of vanilla and caramel.
Brands like Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace are excellent options. For a smokier profile, consider using a peated Scotch whisky, like Laphroaig or Ardbeg.
It's also possible to use a smokey mezcal or a smoky American single malt whiskey.
Now, let's get to the fun part - creating your very own Smoked Mint Julep. This cocktail is as much a treat for the palate as it is a spectacle to behold, making it perfect for impressing guests at your next gathering.
Note: If you don't already have a way to smoke the julep, try one of our quality cocktail smokers.
Begin by lightly muddling the mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a julep cup or a rocks glass. You want to bruise the mint to release the oils, but don't shred it.
Pour in your whiskey of choice.
Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir gently until the outside of the glass begins to frost.
Top with more crushed ice to form a dome on top of the glass.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.
(Optional) For extra smokiness, you can use a smoking gun to fill the top of the glass with smoke, then quickly cover it with a coaster to trap the smoke.
When you're ready to drink, remove the coaster and inhale the smoky aroma.
And there you have it, a Smoked Mint Julep - a traditional drink with a twist that carries a story, both in its history and its flavor. Enjoy this cocktail as a bridge between the rich past and the innovative present of mixology.
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