Juleps were first used as ancient medicinal solutions in France during the 1600s. It wasn’t until almost 1784 when it became a proper drink. The Julep first appeared in the state of Virginia and was mainly consumed by sugar plantations workers. The first recipe of a ‘Mint Julep’ with brandy appears in 1833 in Transatlantic Sketches, by Captain J.E. Alexander. Today, the Mint Julep has become synonymous with the Kentucky Derby and is traditionally made with bourbon, water, crushed or shaved ice, and fresh mint. But why not try something different? Why not use some cognac? In fact, if you look back to 1862, the master bartender, Jerry Thomas indicates to use Cognac for the Mint Julep in How to Mix Drinks. With that in mind I discovered a great Julep recipe via Martell called the Curious Mint Julep. And it is curiously delicious.
- 50 ml Martell Blue Swift
- 10-12 fresh mint leaves
- 10 ml cardamom syrup
- mint bouquet
- Press the mint leaves in a julep cup with a flat end barspoon or a muddler.
- Add Martell and cardamon syrup.
- Fill with crushed ice.
- Stir well until the cup is well frosted.
- Garnish with berries and a mint bouquet.
How to Make the Cardamom Syrup:
- Bring the water (1/2 litre) and cardamom (3 green pods) to a boil.
- Stir in the sugar (350 grams) until fully dissolved.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Infuse in the refrigerator for 3 days, then strain out the cardamom.
- Bottle and refrigerate the syrup.