Mint Simple Syrup
½ c mint leaves, packed
¼ c water
⅛ c sugar
Crushed ice*, enough to fill 2 glasses
2 oz mint simple syrup
4 oz good quality bourbon, such as Blanton’s, Bulleit or Woodford Reserve
1 bottle Fever-Tree Cucumber Tonic Water or Premium Indian Tonic Water
2 large mint leaves
2 thin cucumber slices
Mint Simple Syrup: Combine water and sugar in a small pot and simmer until sugar has completely dissolved. Add the mint and stir to incorporate, allow to simmer for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep and cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use (syrup will keep for about a week).
Fill 2 glasses with crushed ice, then add 1 oz simple syrup and 2 oz bourbon to each glass. Top with tonic and garnish each drink with a cucumber slice and a mint leaf. Tip: Before garnishing, gently smack the mint with your hands to release the oils, along with that lovely mint aroma. Serve immediately.
*The signature element of a mint julep (or mint julep-inspired sip) is the ice. Pellets are most common, though you can easily create the same effect with crushed ice or use a blender to grind up cubes (make sure to scoop out the ice with a slotted spoon to avoid watering down your drink).
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