The first time I had a mint julep was this past summer, though I've owned my own personalized, etched, pewter julep cup since I graduated from college. I'm not kidding, it was a gift from the Templeton family, who funded the honors program.
I got this recipe from watching Robert Hess make one on the Small Screen Network http://www.smallscreennetwork.com/
The site is a great way to learn the technique for each cocktail if you are a visual learner. I've seen recipes for juleps where you make a mint extract by wringing mint into a towel or something. But that's a bit complicated for what should be simple, refreshing drink. That way may be better for making a pitcher's worth, though. It's a great summer drink and it's the drink of the Kentucky Derby. So why am I posting about it in December? Because I'm just getting around to it.
On to the recipe:
2.5 oz bourbon
.5 oz rich syrup
4-5 mint sprigs with stems removed
Lightly muddle mint and syrup. Add bourbon, add crushed ice, stir. More ice, then garnish with mint sprig, dust top with powdered sugar.
A few notes on the mint julep. Be careful, it's extremely refreshing, yet extremely strong, a dangerous combination. You can get away with some pretty cheap bourbon here due to the strong flavor of the mint. I made one with Evan Williams Single Barrel and one with black label Evan Williams and could hardly tell the difference. Rich syrup is a 2:1 sugar to water syrup, if you have simple syrup (1:1) on hand, that would probably work fine, too. The pewter glass really is part of the show of the drink because it holds a nice frost, but a regular old fashioned glass will do just fine. You can order your own pewter cup after you get hooked on this drink. Crushing the ice is a bit tricky if your icemaker doesn't feature crushed ice. I plan to order a Lewis bag for the next time I make them. It's a canvas back that you whack with a mallot or a muddler; the bag absorbs the moisture and allows you to crush the ice as finely as you like.