Juleps

Jerry Thomas (1862)

The julep is peculiarly an American beverage, and in the Southern states is more popular than any other. It was introduced into England by Captain Marryatt, where it is now quite a favorite. The gallant captain seems to have had a penchant for the nectareous drink, and published the recipe in his work on America. We give it in his own words: "I must descant a little upon the mint julep, as it is, with the thermometer at 100°, one of the most delightful and insinuating potations that ever was invented, and may be drunk with equal satisfaction when the thermometer is as low as 70°. There are many varieties, such as those composed of claret, Madeira, &c.; but the ingredients of the real mint julep are as follows. I learned how to make them, and succeeded pretty well. Put into a tumbler about a dozen sprigs of the tender shoots of mint, upon them put a spoonful of white sugar, and equal proportions of peach and common brandy, so as to fill it up one-third, or perhaps a little less. Then take rasped or pounded ice, and fill up the tumbler. Epicures rub the lips of the tumbler with a piece of fresh pineapple, and the tumbler itself is very often incrusted outside with stalactites of ice. As the ice melts, you drink. I once overheard two ladies talking in the next room to me, and one of them said, 'Well, if I have a weakness for any one thing, it is for a mint julep!'—a very amiable weakness, and proving her good sense and good taste. They are, in fact, like the American ladies, irresistible."