The Mint Julep
The term “Juleps” is used for that family of drinks which have mint, sugar, and crushed ice. The desired amount of any spirit can be added in the drink. The word “Julep” is closely related to an Arabic term “Julab”, which means a mixture of water and rose petals. That mixture of water and rose petals was very popular among Arabs so ultimately it made its way through Mediterranean. It was that time when some mint was added to replace rose petals in the drink. After that, the drink became so popular that it made its way across entire Europe. The new drink was called mint julep. Mint Julep is another drink which belongs to this family of drinks. According to historical books on recipes of drinks, Mint Julep made its way through the bar on 1803. At that time, it was also described as the “dram of spirituous liquor that has mint in it and taken my Virginians in the morning”. John Davis was the first writer which mentioned mint julep is his writing. In the same year, in which mint julep was introduced to the public, the word “cocktail” was introduced to the market. However, some research believes in the fact that mint julep was born in the late 1700s. It just had the different name at that time. It remained alive on the east coast. Unlike today’s mint julep which is made mixed with Bourbon, the classic mint julep was made with whiskey or rum or any other available spirit.
Initially, mint julep was taken as the morning drink since it gave the boost, energy and freshness to the body the same way a coffee does. So farmers of east and southeast started looking forward to that drink since its popularity was breaking through entire Europe. Mint julep and farmers are closely related since all the farmers wake up at dawn in order to start their work and the mint julep was consumed by many of those to give them with a fresh start of the day ahead. One of the main components which makes this drink so popular and tasty is the Bourbon Whiskey. When mint julep became popular in America, people at the bar tried mixing it with American Whiskey which gave a splendid taste to it. At that time mint julep was turned into an extremely refreshing and tasty drink comprising of water, sugar, mint, leaves and American Whiskey. It was when the modern form of the mint julep, which we know was formed.
Today’s mint julep became the official drink of Kentucky Derby in 1938. Till now, a lot of subcategories and types of mint julep has been invented. The beauty of the drink comes mostly from the crushed ice which is poured on the top of the glass in a professional way. Owing to the popularity of drink, Joe Nickell wrote a book named “The Kentucky Mint Julep” which throws light on all the properties and aspects of mint julep.