The Mint Julep is a potent afternoon cocktail of mostly whiskey and a dash of minted-sugar whose strength is masked only by a drift of crushed ice. If you’re not looking to get knocked on your ass by the first drink of the day, this sparkling, lower-proof classic is a far more subtle way to ease into day drinking. Bourbon is replaced with a smaller dose of cognac and mixed with dry sparkling wine, a bit of mint and sugar and a dash of bitters. Any combination of fruit, mint or citrus is an appropriate garnish.
- 1/2 ounce cognac
- 3 ounces champagne or other dry, sparkling wine
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup or one sugar cube
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 6-7 mint leaves
Garnish: mint bouquet and lemon peel
- In a julep tin or rocks glass, add mint leaves and simple syrup (or sugar cube and a splash of water). Gently press mint leaves with a muddler to release oils.
- Add cognac, champagne, bitters and crushed ice and stir gently.
- Top with more crushed ice to mound.
- Garnish with a mint bouquet and lemon peel.