Actually, it's always julep time, as far as I'm concerned. The slightly sweet, frosty drink, with just a kiss of mint is always a pleasure. The outside of the metal cup frosts over just so, and stays frozen and cold longer because of the metal cup. And mint, which won't grow in my yard, grows all year at the supermarket.
The post culminates in a recipe for a julep-like drink, but with rum and peach, from Holland House's Jeremiah Blake, to keep julep cups in use all year.
Here's the recipe — bottoms up, and congrats on the nod, HH!
Jack Speak Julep
Recipe adapted from Jeremiah Blake of Holland House Bar & Refuge, Nashville
Makes one drink
8 mint leaves, plus 1 large sprig for garnish
¾ ounce Demerara syrup*
2½ ounces Smith & Cross rum
2 dashes Angostura bitters
½ ounce Massenez Crème de Pêche, plus 1 dash for garnish
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes and crushed ice
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves and Demerara syrup. Add the rum, bitters, ½ ounce créme de pêche and the lemon juice. Fill with ice cubes and shake for 20 seconds, then strain into a julep cup two-thirds full of ice cubes. Fill with crushed ice to the top, add the remaining dash of peach liqueur, and garnish with the mint sprig and a straw cut so that it rises an inch or so above the mint.
*To make Demerara syrup, combine equal parts Demerara sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool, transfer to a covered container and store in the refrigerator.