A few days after receiving a copy of The Ultimate Bar Book (H.F. Ullmann) edited by Andre Domine, there is so much to share in it that I wonder where to start.
This imposing and heavy tome deserves to be called the cocktails bible. It covers everything from history to culture, famous bars of then and now plus of course cocktail recipes hence its subtitle 'the world of spirits and cocktails'.
The sticky weather hovering over New York area recently calls for refreshing drinks like a southern and refreshing Mint Julep.
All cocktails in book including the Mint Julep recipe below were expertly mixed by Matthias Stelzig and photographed by Thomas Pothmann.
-Leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint
-1 bsp demerara sugar
-a little water or dark sugar syrup
-2 oz (6 cl) bourbon
Gently crush the mint leaves.
Place the first three ingredients in a tumbler, top up with the bourbon and with crushed ice, stir and garnish with a couple of mint leaves.
In his 'Refreshing juleps and smashes' notes (page 738), the author shares that 'the word julep allegedly derives from the Arabic julap or the Persian gulap, and means rose water. How the term made its way from the Orient into American bar culture remains a mistery, however'
We learn also that 'an astounding 120,000 glasses of the cocktail were ordered in 2007' at the Kentucky Derby 'using mor than a ton of crushed fresh mint'.
(* Recipe and photo shared by permission of H.F. Ullmann, all rights reserved)