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The American word 'julep' can be traced to French julep, which comes from the Arabic julab, which is from the Persian julab, meaning 'rose water.' The drink as we know it today is an American invention.

The classic mint julep as made in Kentucky, starts with a chilled silver mug or goblet filled with crushed ice. Disolve one lump of sugar in a little water, fill with bourbon, add the disolved sugar and stir well. Place four or five sprigs of fresh mint down into the ice. Serve and watch the Kentucky Derby.

Other recipes call for crushed mint leaves and other variations of the julep are made with rum or brandy. Crushed mint versus whole mint sprigs is a continuing argument amongst julep lovers. As is whether or not to drink with a straw, or straight from the mug, with your nose in the mint.

If you would like some good recipes have a look at James' website - click here

Chef James EhlerThis article is from Chef James Ehler of Key West, Florida.

James is a webmaster, cook, chef, writer and (like me) a self-confessed computer nerd. He is the former executive chef of Martha's Steak & Seafood Restaurant and the former Reach Hotel (both in Key West), the Hilton Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the New Bern Golf and Country Club, North Carolina.

He is now webmaster and cook at the Blue Heaven Restaurant in Key West while he works on his Food Encyclopedia (five years so far). It is well worth paying a visit to James' food reference website which is a useful resource well worth Bookmarking - to visit either website just click on their title:

The Food Reference Website
The Blue Heaven Restaurant, Key West, Florida

© James T. Ehler, 2001
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