Today's update du jour.

I am taking the opportunity that my dad, after a rough night, is resting away, therefore I can regale you, dear Internet, with bloggy goodness.

Not a colossal volume of said bloggy goodness, but if'n I were you, dear Internet, I'd be mindful beggars can't be choosers and just be grateful I'm putting digit to keyboard.

NOS, that exceptional child, has just been smitten by an unquenchable desire to play lacrosse. No real explanation how this mood overcame him, nor anything else even vaguely explanatory but he took his hard earned ducats and bought himself the necessary implements.

He has, in contrast, seen fit to explain his desire to become adept in the ways of massagery. Not only does he consider this a worthy social skill to have (having noted he often sees female lady persons ask their husbands/boyfriends to rub away a knot or kink on their shoulder; TFBIM is egregiously guilty of this) but that he might also find some way to make this skill lucrative.

Yes, my son could very easily be led down -- should strong correctives not take place immediately -- the path to a career in the gigolo industry. The sound you hear is that of dowry offer plummeting.

He is right at that point in his development when, for reasons which have not yet become clear to him, he is eager to "get" girls but -- and mark this -- not really sure what he would do with one, should he actually succeed in doing so. For the moment (those of you with sons have or will witness this phenomenon) he is just happy when a pretty girl talks to him as if he were not an idiot.

In other fronts, the various lights at the end of various tunnels have brightened by the smallest possible increment measurable. More news once the all-clear has blown.

I am also going to plant additional citrus. I'm thinking key limes, Tahiti (i.e. "regular") limes -- lime being, of course, the apex predator of the citric universe -- Valencia (i.e. "juice") oranges, Seville (i.e. "sour") oranges, and possibly some kind of lemon (torn between Meyer and "regular") with an outside chance of grapefruit.

The rosemary is taking over everything, which is nice, but the mint -- ostensibly a plant with weed-like growth tendencies -- ain't , which is not. And with the Kentucky Derby nearly at our throats, and my marveling at some glorious eBayed sterling julep cups, this becomes critical.

Mint, herb-wise, is a funny thing. What seems like a lot on the stem can be run through in minutes, just by making one measly round of juleps or mojitos. So, I was hoping to have a veritable shrub of the bloody thing, but instead I have a forlorn twig with three sad leaves. Instead of wondering "Oh, merciful heavens, whatever am I to do with all these basketfuls of mint leaves???" I am left scrambling and flexing my compensatory skills.

But, that you may know what a terrific exemplar of humanity I am, I proffer my thus-far secret Mint Julep recipe:

12 mint (I prefer spearmint) leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
2 tsp (10ml) superfine (i.e. "caster") sugar
Soda water (I suggest you invest in a siphon, but bottled water would be fine...NOT mineral water, though.)
Cracked ice
2 oz (+/- 60ml) bourbon whiskey (I prefer Maker's Mark for this, but you may also use a "Tennessee" whiskey such as Jack Daniel's)

Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an "old-fashioned" glass or julep cup. Sprinkle the sugar on top. Muddle (i.e. mush) these together until the leaves begin to break down to a paste -- disregard the unbelievers who say this releases "bitter oils" for that is simultaneously heresy and drivel -- if you haven't a muddler, a wooden spoon or a pestle would suffice. Add a splash of water (enough to release the minty paste from both your muddling implement AND the bottom of your drinking vessel) and fill the glass ¾ of the way with cracked, NOT crushed, ice, and add the bourbon. Add another splash of water, stir lightly. Place the sprig mint in your palm and give it a bit of a clap to "enliven it" and then garnish. Serve immediately. Repeat as needed.

You're welcome.



God I miss you and your posting at far more regular intervals than the last, oh, eighteen months.

And so pleased you highlighted the importance of using cracked not crushed ice. Crisis averted.
Your recipe sounds ok, but this Kentuckian will tell you that the best juleps are made with a simple syrup mixture(pour the simple syrup over your crushed mint, add bourbon, and ice) instead and use Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon instead.
As for your mint problems I have no suggestions-I HAVE KILLED Spearmint. Most horticulture types tell me that is an impossible feat, but there it is! ;-) My aunt's husband made the mistake of mowing down a bush of mint that she had in the yard trying to kill it, but it came back bigger and stronger.
Joke said…

I never claimed my julep was authentic, merely superior. That said, I might experiment with a combination of SS and sugar (SS is sweeter than the equivalent amount of sugar) as one needs the abrading capacity of sugar to really turn the mint leaves to a semi-soluble slurry.

I prefer MM to WT because it has a less bitter profile, but that's just my personal preference. (My other fave bourbon is Knob Creek, but it doesn't really shine in a mint julep.)

Wild Turkey, incidentally, makes THE best rye whiskey. Their "Rare Breed" bourbon is mighty nice as well.
Paola said…
OK. I never had a mint Julep. Maybe I'll try it.
What the heck.
I have a son age 9 so I am VERY interested when you talk about your son.
Poppy Buxom said…
No, no, no, you don't serve immediately. You put it in the refrigerator until the outside of the container is gray with frost, and then you serve it.

But fair's fair. Should I ever post instructions for making a mojito, feel free to correct me.
Joke said…
Poppy - With cracked ice, it'd take picosends to frost over. So fine, I'll do it your way, as it presents no onerous burden.

Paola - I haven't even gotten into some of the crazier ideas he has had recently.
Paola said…
... interesting ... I am all ears, and eyes of course.
Badger said…
I do not like them, Sam I Am. Why anyone would feel the need to tart up a perfectly good bourbon with herbs and whatnot is beyond me.

My spearmint is going great guns now, but it's the orange mint, which jumped its pot eons ago and comes back every spring with a vengeance, that is taking over the entire herb patch. And the foundation of my house. And a goodly portion of the lawn. Oy.
Joke said…

You are forgiven for not being as wildly promiscuous of palate as I am.

Mint Juleps, Whisk(e)y Sours, Manhattans. In a snifter, on ice, I am pretty much happy with everything. Provided it is a good one.

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