plexi: In the years considering this I've come to suspect that, disregarding students and weekenders, service industry roles are stuffed with those that are unable to cope with a standard daytime office job. Maybe they are psychologically unsound, maybe they are drug-addled and unable to emotionally cope with a sober regiment. I don't know.
"Virginia may be dry in spots, but this is not one of them," said the old-fashioned Virginia host, sniffing the mint he had just brought in from his garden.
"Sit there and I'll show you how to make a genuine old time Virginia mint julep, like father used to make.
"First, you see, I pound my ice. I always steal one of my wife's best dinner napkins to pound it in. It gives it a flavor that beats this shaving concern they use for ice nowadays.
"Well, sir, having pounded your ice, fill a tall thin glass full of it and put it into the refrigerator. What for? I'll show you later. Now, in another glass I mix my whisky—smell the bouquet of that, sir. Fine, isn't it? My mint which I crush—yes, sir, crush is the word I used—and a little sugar. Water? What do you want with water in a mint julep? This is the old-fashioned way I'm showing you.
"Now, then, I pour the mixture into the tall glass; it melts the ice a little, you see; that's all the water you need. Then I fill it up with more ice, dash it with the best old French brandy, trim it with a little sheaf of mint on the side—like the what-you-may-call-'ems on the new hats, insert one strawberry or a cherry to give it color—and taste that, sir. Isn't that the nectar of the gods? A straw? Upon my word! Do you think you are at a soda fountain? What do you want with a straw when you can bury your nose in mint like that? Fragrance and flavor, that's what.
"How do I get the frost on the glass? Well, partly by chilling it in the ice box and partly by pouring into the chilled glass the warm mixture. I thought you would say it was the best you ever had. Try another for old time's sake."
July 18, 1911.
Isn't there a mistake in your editorial article concerning the julep? I was always taught it should contain only whisky—good Bourbon—as the liquid addition, and that it should be slowly poured in over the mint and ice without bruising or crushing the mint with a spoon, or in any other way. But brandy—never. VINIAUS.
July 24, 1911.
Viniaus is right about the mint julep. In the first place, none but a barbarian or a New York bartender, which is almost the same thing, would bruise mint with a spoon, ice, lump sugar masher, or anything else in making a julep. A lump of sugar, a spoonful of water to soften it, some ice, then the mint, and atop of that the whisky slowly poured—trickled, almost. But corn, straight corn liquor rather than Bourbon, which is usually 80 percent corn mash. Brandy? Well, he who would brandy a mint julep is the sort who would bruise the mint. MIDDLE TENNESSEE.
Several people were dressed in character, including four men who showed up as white Russians: white painter pants, white T-shirts, brown fuzzy hats. Each drank their namesake, except one guy, who nursed a bottle of Miller Lite. “I’m lactose intolerant,” he said.
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