Today is National Bourbon Day. Which is a good thing, I s'pose, as Bourbon is a close 2nd in the category of My Favorite Ardent Spirits. We all know about my favorite Bourbon cocktail -- the Whisk(e)y Sour, details upcoming thereon -- but when the thermometer starts to creep upward, chasing the spike in humidity, something minty is called for.
Now, it seems that normal people who grow mint have it overrun their yard. I end up with a terracotta pot of damp dirt and beige twigs. Still, dum spiro, spero. So, in order to not make nothing but a waterfall of mojitos all summer* long, here's my choice cocktail:
1 oz. Rye (Templeton's is nice, if you're especially manly-manlike, add an extra ½ oz.)
2 oz. Bourbon (my go-to for mixing is Maker's Mark)
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
18 (!) mint leaves, any varietal, but Yerba Buena (mentha nemorosa) is optimal.
1 oz. superfine sugar (just put regular sugar in the food processor and zap it for as long as your patience will allow)
Now, here's the thing. You're really going to need a silver, as in .925 Sterling, cup. You can get away with silver-plated copper. (Oh, just go on eBay, will you?) It's actually important, and not merely decorative.
OK, I'll let it go this one time.
Put mint and sugar in your silver cup, in that order...you need the sugar on top of the mint to act as a cushion, because you must muddle the mint very gently. Don’t crush the mint, because you will release bitter compounds. Add the liquids and stir like crazy. Load up
the cup (I mean, realllllly pack it) with crushed ice and garnish with a healthy spring of mint, clapped between your hands to enliven same.
* Summer in Miami lasting from March through November.
Posted by JMG at 7:07 AM