Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Mint Julep

William Alexander Percy gives this delicious description of how to make a Mint Julep, in his novel "Lanterns on the Levy." As March is passing us by, and Springtime appears to be nearly here, I found it appropriate to post this excerpt.

First, you needed excellent bourbon whiskey; rye or Scotch would not do at all. Then you put half an inch sugar in the bottom of the glass and merely dampened it with water. Next, very quickly-and here was the trick in the procedure-you crushed your ice, actually powdered it, preferably in a towel with a wooden mallet, so quickly that it remained dry, and, slipping two sprigs of fresh mint against the inside of the glass, you crammed the ice in right to the brim, packing it with your hand. Last, you filled the glass, which apparently had not room for anything else, with bourbon, the older the better, and grated a bit of nutmeg on the top. The glass immediately frosted and you settled back in your chair for half an hour of sedate cumulative bliss.

I have a rather large paper to write on this book, and after I complete it, I will be in the mood for perhaps several hours of "sedate cumulative bliss."