MXMO, Say Hello To My Little Friend

Oh, the Mint Julep and I go way back. Waaaaaaaaay back, let me assure you. Let's see, there were the garden Juleps in Boulder, Colorado in college, rooftop Juleps in Chicago, fire-escape Juleps in New York, barbeque Juleps in Brattleboro Vermont. . . I'm missing a few, but you get the idea. The Julep and I have been buddies for a long time now. I even named a cat Julep. This year, however, has seen a different spin on our friendship.

Thing is, my old buddy Julep and I, we never really got to know each other. Or, rather the Julep got to know me but not vice versa. I'd heard stories, of course, and figured my friend Julep was birthed on the front porch one humid evening in the deep south, and had become the official drink of everyone who had a drawl. Then, I happened upon THIS VIDEO. It was like being invited to your best friends house and getting to see their childhood pictures. Suddenly, I had history, a back-story. And with it, a whole new appreciation for my friend.

To honor my friend, I thought I'd throw a party, to coincide with Derby Day. Ethan gave me the go-ahead, and I started preparing. I made up a few, found dozens listed in Baker's gem, a few more in Saucier's, and within a week I was staring at a dozen variations of my friend.

Then, a number of things happened. First, Jamie Boudreau was planning on having the same party at Vessel. Second, Julep cups are expensive!!! Third, it dawned on me that I didn't have any resources in case it proved to be wildly popular, meaning I'd have gotten drowned with no one to bail me out. So, much to more than a few peoples chagrin, I dropped it.

Derby Day passed, I did end up making quite a few Juleps for people who had heard the rumors. Belatedly, I posted an ode to my friend at AOL. And now, with MXMO featuring Bourbon (big thanks to the Scofflaw Den for hosting), I get to lead my friend to the front of the stage for another bow.

The Mint Julep recipe? Ah, watch the video link above for one version. Everyone seems to have their own idea. Instead, I'll lay out a few recipes I developed for the Mint Julep party at Union:

The Duwamish Julep
6 mint leaves
dash of simple syrup
2 oz. of your preferred Bourbon
3/4 oz blackberry liquer (I used Clear Creek)

GENTLY muddle 5 of the mint leaves with the simple syrup in a double rocks glass. Fill glass with crushed ice, then slowly add bourbon and blackberry liquer. Do not stir. Garnish with remaining mint.

Windemere County Julep
Same as above, only substitute blackberry liquer and simple syrup with Applejack and maple syrup

And, my favorite, the Georgia Mint Julep
substitute blackberry liquer with peach liquer.

Now, I know historically the Georgia Mint Julep comes prepared with brandy, but hit it with bourbon instead. Dayum!!!

If I'm not mistaken, I believe the next MXMO will be in N'awlins. . . no? Can't wait gang....

The Swami

That's Tyler Moritz, drinking a Swami at Union (cellphone pic by Rocky). Tyler is the chef de cuisine at Union, extraordinarily talented (for all you boozehounds out there who have only stopped by Union for drinks, allow me to slap you around a bit, as you NEED to eat some of Tyler's food. It's affordable, it's award winning, it's unique in this city. Good booze/cocktails, good wine, good food. . . c'mon and belly up to the bar and EAT!!)

As I've mentioned before, the chefs at Union have sensitive and discriminate palates. They are quick to point out the duds. The hits just get downed really fast. An empty cocktail glass remains the best rubber stamp of approval I know of.

So here we have The Swami, an original of mine, one of very few originals I've posted about. You can't tell in the picture but it's green. It has some refreshing spring flavors, except that spring and summer have apparently passed Seattle right on by. If this weather goes on much longer, I may have to move to New Orleans instead of just going there for Tales. Not that I'm, ahem, getting bitter about the weather or anything. I mean, gosh, who doesn't love chilly, wind-driven, gloomy and overcast summers . . .

The Swami. I foresee sunshine. Someday.

2 oz. pisco (I use Capel)
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz green Chartreuse
a splash o' simple syrup
a dash of Fee's grapefruit bitters

Shake, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a few dried rose petals, or, heck, nothing at all. It's all the same between friends.