I was reading about bootleg bourbon and came across a note about the fermentation stage. Grind up a bunch of corn, mix with water, warm up, and then leave it in the woods to get stanky. Kind of like coming back from a week’s vacation to discover you forgot to wash out the polenta pot, except with bourbon, you do it on purpose. So that’s kind of gross, but it gets better.
Back in the day I baked lemon bars and forgot to cover them up before going to bed. I came back and there were tiny mouse footprints all over the lemon curd. Similarly, the bootleggers hop in their Charger and peace out back to their farm leaving a giant cauldron of corn goo in the woods. And approximately the same thing happens to the goo that happened to my lemon bars. Which, again, is kind of nasty. And, again, it gets better.
Possums being the horrible reprobates they are will find the corn mash, climb in, and start chomping. Unfortunately for the possums and also for the corn mash, they don’t hold their liquor too well. They have a tendency to get super drunk, pass out, and drown in the mash. But hey, a little possum never hurt anyone, right? So we’ll go ahead and distill the mash.
I shouldn’t like mint juleps, I really shouldn’t. Or any other cocktail made of bourbon. I know about the possums in the bootleg stills. I shouldn’t be able to calmly sip a julep from a sweating glass, but you know what? I can do it. No possum’s going to be the boss of me. And anyway, look at these gorgeous cups.
The julep has been around a long time. It shows up in Beeton’s. And I found a bunch of old recipes for various versions. Though I notice that neither of these use any
AMERICAN MINT JULEP
Put into a tumbler glass some powdered sugar, a bunch of spear-mint, a wine-glass of sherry wine, the same quantity of brandy, and fill the tumber[sp] with broken ice.
Mint Julep.–To equal quantities of rum, cognac, and sugar, add fresh mint, herb, and fill the glass half full with gin and water.
So what’s my point? Don’t have one. It’s summer. I’m going home and have a julep.