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Mike's Perfect Mint Julep

Submitted by Michael Nutile

Serves 12people
cups bourbon
bunches fresh mint
cup distilled water
cup powdered sugar
Prepare Mint Extract: Remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 oz. bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for about 15 minutes. Then father the leave in a paper towel. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whiskey. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.
Prepare the Simple Syrup: Mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.
Prepare Mint Julep Mixture: Pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon. Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of extract is different so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added; looking for a soft mint aroma and taste (generally around 3 tablespoons.) When you think it is right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to marry the flavors.
To Serve: Fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a sprig of mint then pack on more ice to about 1" over the top of the cup. Insert a straw which has been cut to 1" above the cup (so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping.) When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice.

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