While the origins of the mint julep may never truly be known, the cocktail has been popular for more than 200 years. It first appeared in literature in 1784, where the recipe was prescribed as a cure for stomach aches and vomiting. Twenty years later, the cocktail popped up in a book by traveler John Davis, who recounted seeing Virginians drinking it in the morning.
Ever since Davis’s book, the cocktail has become synonymous with the South itself. In fact, the mint julep was promoted as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938, and it continues to be to this day.
Given its storied history, it’s no surprise that most of us know this drink by its traditional recipe: bourbon, sugar, water, and mint. However, there are many variations of the mint julep, and that’s where our Cocktail of the Month comes in. With St. Patrick’s Day coloring much of the month green, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share an Irish version of this drink. Made with bourbon, creme de menthe, half and half, and mint, the Irish Julep is more or less a melted, boozy milkshake.
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce creme de menthe liqueur
1 ounce half and half
Mint sprig, for garnish
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
For those in love with all things Irish, we recommend picking up a copy of A Glass Apart by Fionnan O’Connor. Touted as “a love letter to the history, craft, and diversity” of Irish whiskey, this beautifully illustrated book is sure to both educate and delight, while also looking good on your coffee table.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Basil Hayden’s