Bill Samuels Jr., the president of Maker's Mark, personally showed Brad Stanton of Hawksworth how to infuse bourbon with mint. Stanton brought the technique home from Kentucky and currently stirs up his interpretation at the Hawksworth bar. The nice thing about this version is that the mint isn't bruised to bitterness and there aren't bits of leaves floating around. Be sure to place the straw close to the mint garnish for optimal minty fragrance when drinking.
Note: To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Yield:makes 1 cocktail
- Active time: 6 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes
- For the mint infused bourbon:
- 4 ounces fresh mint (leaves and stems, about 1 bunch)
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle bourbon, such as Maker's Mark
- For the cocktail:
- 2 ounces of mint infused bourbon
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see note)
- Fresh mint for garnish
For the Bourbon: Pluck the bigger bottom leaves off of the mint stalks (reserve tops for garnish) and wrap loosely in cheesecloth. Place the mint package into a large bowl and add bourbon. Let infuse for five minutes, occasionally agitating mint bundle to release oils into bourbon. Gently wring out the bourbon from the mint through the cheesecloth, being careful not to tear the mint. Using a funnel, pour mixture back into bourbon bottle through a fine mesh strainer. Store in freezer when not in use.
For the Cocktail: Fill a julep cup 2/3 full with crushed ice. Add infused bourbon and simple syrup. With the back end of a bar spoon, stir mixture until a frost develops on the outside of the julep cup. Add more crushed ice, and stir again.
Slap a sprig of mint between your hands to release the oil and place on the crushed ice. Cut a straw to fit the cup and place near the mint sprig. Serve.