Serious Eats: Talk

Ideas for a mint substitute in juleps?

I enjoy doing juleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby (or, of course, just because they're tasty). I have a sensitivity to fresh mint- it has always given me a raging sore throat. Dried mint tea and peppermint oil flavoring are not a problem for some reason, but fresh mint and I do not get along. Last year I found a great 1840's julep recipe involving port and cognac that seemed like it could play well with other herbs. I tried substituting thyme in one cocktail and basil in another, but they lacked the freshness and crispness of flavor that the mint had. I stole a sip of my husband's cocktail using mint and it's 500% better. Any clever ideas for something with an aromatic punch and brightness of flavor on par with fresh mint?

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