Thursday, May 18, 2006

white trash (and mint juleps)

last weekend, we went to a white trash cookout for our friend warren's 40th birthday. totally hilarious. i made deviled eggs because a) they have been served at nearly every white trash event i have ever attended in my life (and i have been to quite a few--i am from the appalacian mountains after all!), and b) who doesn't like deviled eggs??? i made two dozen of them, and they were gone in about 10 minutes. i thought my plastic tray covered in used aluminum foil and paper towels was a nice touch. :)

i also made a pitcher of mint juleps, and i think the hippie consumed the the whole thing out of his lovely american flag cup while playing bocce and smoking cigars. he had a great time--so great that i actually left him at the party after about 5 hours. the pms and headache overcame me, so i went home and talked on the phone to the sam instead. i was FULLY prepared to go pick the hippie back up later, but he got a ride home with friends, so it was all good. but as always, i digress...

what i really wanted to talk about for a minute are the mint juleps. now, i know i am Southern and all, but my first experience with this beverage was less than stellar. i made one following the mr. boston's bartending guide instructions, and it was a pure disaster! something with muddled mint leaves, powdered sugar, and whiskey that in the end, did not look a damned thing like what i knew a real mint julep to be. i swore off them forever, all because of one bad experience. how wrong i was!!! let us consider for a moment that i was basing my entire assumption about this quintessentially Southern beverage based on instruction from a guide called "mr. boston", and is that name not implicitly yankee? what was i THINKING? (no offense to the yankees, of course--some of my best friends can be classified as same, and new england and NYC have many wonderful things to offer, just not proper mint juleps.) (digressing again...) thank the lord for my cousin leanne who taught me her great grandmother's recipe for the summer beverage of the gods. i will now share with you this perfect libation. i can drink these endlessly on a summer afternoon:

perfect mint juleps
  • big handful of fresh mint
  • water
  • ~10 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2-3 cups whiskey
you are basically going to make a sweet mint tea with a lot of whiskey in it--so easy! wash mint thoroughly (especially if you pick it out of your yarn like i do), and place it into a medium to large saucepan. cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. remove from heat and allow to steep for 20-30 minutes. add sugar and stir until dissolved. strain mint concentrate into a 1-gallon pitcher. add 2-3 cups of your favorite whiskey (we generally use jim beam), then fill pitcher with cold water. chill for a couple of hours (if there's time--the hippie, he can never wait that long) before serving over ice with sprigs of mint to garnish. relax. drink steadily until gone. make more.


somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Oh dear darlin, yes Northerners are not too bad, but there are a bunch where I live who make you think we are back in the 50s and 60s with the attitudes to boot! Though I think the Yankee men LUV the Southern belles more relaxed persona. As in my case, opposites do attract!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...I'm a Yankee by birth, but have come to have a soft spot in my heart for the things of the South..YOUR mint juleps, biscuits (prefer mine with honey and butter), greens, cheese grits, fried green tomotoes, and fried dilled pickles. mmm....slap my ass and call me sally! AMY

Kristin said...

I have never had a mint julep but I will be attempting them this summer! They sound divine. Cigars and bocce at a white trash event? I would think more of cheap cigarettes and horse shoes...but who am I to judge? Love your fine serving tray. Have a super time in Europe!

Heatherly said...

lol! there were deviled eggs at the memorial day bbq and i laughed thinking of your post. especially when "i wanna be grandma 7" defends hers at the best on the planet.