Sorry, lady, but that is definitely not a Mint Julep.

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Years ago, I shared with you all a video from yet another bartending school or something that showed the most horrific excuse for a Mint Julep many of you have ever seen. It’s so bad that I’m honestly surprised that Woodford Reserve hasn’t bothered to have the video taken down. You can watch it here:

Anyway, as part of my continuing work with the Small Screen Network, I’ve put together my rebuttal and a quick demonstration of what I think a proper mint julep should be. Seems like a lot of people liked the last one, so I hope this one is just as satisfying. Go ahead and watch the video here.

52 Replies to “Sorry, lady, but that is definitely not a Mint Julep.”

  • jake says:

    I saw the limes go in and was like, “okay, its not a mint julep but I’ll let it slide so far,” and then I kept watching. And now I’m taking a spoon to my eyeballs.

  • MikeQ says:

    Great presentation! You’re the man on this stuff. Maybe you can answer something for me … when I first learned the drink I was told that the mint best releases its aroma when the leaves are dry, and then cracked gently … that if they’re wet they won’t “crack” open as much. Is this not really that important?

  • Aztnass says:

    I was sure it couldn’t possibly be as bad as you were making it out to be. I was wrong. Kentucky should sue, or we should flag it for inappropriate content.

  • These videos are very bad, because they give misinformation, to the young bartenders.
    In my case, I try to teach things as correct, always looking for good sources, books and discussions with good bartenders.
    But if one of my students view a video, naming a leading brand of bourbon, a video filmed in America. Casts doubt what I (just a South American cantinero) can say.
    The people in charge of promotions of these leading companies, they would have better advice.
    Jeff thank you very much for always putting in the correct light Mixology.

    Federico Cuco
    Buenos Aires

  • Haha! I love your face talking about that video. I watched it before I read the rest of your post and was astounded at what she made. It reminds me of the “cocktails” I used to get served in college that were poured out of a fountain. Thanks for another good and exacting recipe 🙂

  • Scott Schiffmacher says:

    I watched this long ago when you first mentioned it, but I didn’t remember it being this horrible. I can’t imagine anybody who’s learned the most basic thing about mixing drinks would think this looked good. I cringed when she topped it off with Sprite..

  • Julie says:

    is it terrible that the thing I noticed that horrified me the most was not the sour mix or the Rose’s (wth?) but the fact that she was shaking her drink with the glass towards her guests? Eeek.

  • mojitoo says:

    your videos are just like apple spots. its just like youre presenting the mint julep + retina display !! its art 😀

    i really really love your videos…and youre damn right!!

    thx jeffrey!!

  • Zeech says:

    EPIC.

    So glad to see you posting regularly again, please keep it up, these are brilliant and needed!

  • Valerie says:

    Had not seen the first video… my jaw dropped at her concoction. But that distracted me, at least, from getting bitchy about the whole… um, exposed cleavage factor.

    Your recipes always kill it, IMO, so thanks. But also love the production style, love the black & white and the relaxed commentary. Keep it coming!

    And any comment on the herb smacking (that sounds SO wrong) as opposed to muddling, per Jamie Boudreau’s rec? My hands are red from slapping these damned herbs, then not sure it matters when I proceed to shake them with ice. Just wondering.

  • MikeQ says:

    Jeffrey, sorry I didn’t explain my question better … yes definitely fresh mint (at Johnny D’s we grow our own on the flat roof.) What I meant was … is there an advantage to cracking the mint when it’s fresh but by itself (what I meant by “dry”), as opposed to adding the limes and any liquid that would make them wet before doing so? An old timer told me that when you crack fresh mint leaves by themselves they better release the aroma, whereas when you muddle them with any liquid, the mint is wet … they are more “stirred in the soup.”

  • The Designer says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that i’ve never had a mint julep, but that snow cone seems very oddly misplaced in the old south where I usually place the drink. Is this just your modified improvement on the drink our truly a purist take on it?

  • Tyler says:

    I like to think of that woman’s video as a “cocktail snuff film.”

  • Ulric says:

    Love it!!!!

    The original video reminds me of Darcy’s Art Of Drink’s controversial blog

    One would think she has read it and is trying to prove his point!

  • Chris Hill says:

    Wow, that was upsetting to watch. Her saying “and don’t forget to add the Sprite” was really twisting the knife.
    Have you seen Chris McMillian’s video on making a Mint Julep on YouTube? It’s a real pleasure. A different technique to yours.

  • Brandon says:

    This Lexington, KY bartender just threw-up in his mouth. Blasphemy!

    I’ve found that Henry Clay’s recipe is most bartender-friendly while tending a full counter…

  • Brian says:

    Great video, amazing classic cocktail and recipe. Perfect for summer! Where are you getting those julep cups by the way, and what would you recommend polishing them with? We have a few at the Fifth Floor, but I can’t find the right polish to keep them looking bright and shiny.

  • Nick Britsky says:

    Love it! Any recommendations for purchasing some cool Julip cups like yours and more importantly give you some sort of credit for it. Can I click on an Amazon link on the right of here? Can I just tell Cocktail Kingdom to split the profit with you? 🙂

  • Nate Rushton says:

    Great video! Another classic. We were having a discussion at our bar about what kind of mint is best for mojitos or mint juleps? I recently bought a mint start from our local nursery that was called “mojito” mint.

    Also, have you experimented with other mint varieties in cocktails such as lemon, orange and grapefruit?

    • Nate – The classic Mojito mint is called Yerba Buena, and it’s probably what you’re describing. The best mint to use in most other cocktails is spearmint, but I do think it bears experimenting with other types such as apple mint.

  • Fred Rogers says:

    That was definitely not a mint julep: it was just a mess in my opinion.

    Your version is right on! Very similar to the way I have made mint juleps for the past forty years. A very simple, but delicious, drink. Thanks.

  • Eric says:

    I’m liking these videos, but I have to point out an excerpt from the entry “The Barate Kid” (https://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com/2007/the-barate-kid/):

    “Show me Old Fashioned.”
    “Okay, what should I do differently this time?”
    “Use a sprig of mint, a sugar cube, and a couple of lime wedges.”
    He carefully muddles the ingredients in a glass and reaches for the bourbon.
    “Wait! Use the silver rum.”
    He adds the rum, ice, and tops the drink with soda water.
    “You’ve just made a mojito, Nathan-san”

  • Chris says:

    As I learn more and more about cocktails, I’m amazed at how much a lot of bartenders don’t know anything about the classic drinks. You mentioned the Old Fashioned and this last weekend I was in a bar I had never tried before so I decided to use my standard test of the Old Fashioned. To my horror he added both Dry Vermouth and club soda to the mix. Where are these bartenders get such misinformation? The reason I ask is because I have never found an Old Fashioned recipe that includes dry vermouth or a mint julep that has anything other than mint, sugar, bourbon, and ice.

    To make matters worse, he was training another bartender on the drink that he was screwing up for me!

  • Eric says:

    Hi Jeffrey. I should clarify that I didn’t mean to criticize in pointing this out. There’s obviously a difference in mindset and authority between your Barate Kid article and the Woodford Reserve mint julep video. It is interesting, though, to see an example of how cocktails can remain a learning process and evolution even for the leading practitioners, and even for the most classic drinks. I’m looking forward to the next video in this series.

  • The Boo Lion says:

    I love the videos. You look good on them, Mr Morgenthaler, and I loved trying your Daiquiri. I just hope that you’re not setting a theme here of ‘have a laugh at the poor misguided bad bartender’. No matter how awfully, horribly, terribly they mess up otherwise wonderful drinks, we really shouldn’t take too much of the piss out of them, should we? Heaven forbid that the cocktail scene start being thought of as elitist and snobbish 😉

  • The Boo Lion says:

    Nice. Keep up the standard of the last two videos, and you run no risk whatsoever of boring us.

  • Ray says:

    Jeffrey, excellent video! Let no mixology crime go unanswered! I’m not sure what she was mixing, but it sure was confusing! If I wanted to publish such a drink on my blog – well – I wouldn’t! But if I did I would make up a new name like: Minty Lime Disaster! It might even gain a following. Truth in advertising is everything. Perhaps we can all chip in and send that bar rescue guy out there to straighten up da place!

  • Noal says:

    If you you that is good, check out this video. If you can get by the shot of the guy stirring the sugar cube around his old fashioned, the other few will definitely get you.

    http://youtu.be/X5Dsemc20pg

  • cheesepirate says:

    I have a lot of reasons for not drinking at nightclubs, but that first video illustrates one of the biggest ones. Yikes. I don’t bartend professionally, and I take shortcuts at home (I throw a big handful of mint into my simple syrup as it cools when I make it, and only use fresh for garnish — it works for me), but I sorta think a good bartender’s manual would go a long way there. Although, in my experience, nightclubs in general are not a great place to get a cocktail. I haven’t ordered a cocktail at a nightclub since 2003’s great Tom Collins Disaster, which required three trips back to the bar, and ended with me drinking beer.

  • Michelle says:

    Jeffrey, do you always use 2:1 simple syrup? If not, when do you use 1:1 and 2:1? Loved the video! Very informative!

  • Laine Doss says:

    WTF was that? Sprite? Holy hell that was a waste. Somewhere the bourbon gods are weeping rust-colored tears.

  • Geert says:

    You know, I can’t get over the fact that she used both real muddled limes, rose’s limejuice ánd sourmix. I’m surprised no one mentioned that here before. Or actually I’m not, since there were so many other weird things to mention.

  • Saylor says:

    The only thing good about that video was her cleavage….just saying! sprite? reallly?

  • Dirk says:

    Unfortunately the RSS feed (http://www.smallscreennetwork.com/feed/appletv/733 ) is not working, as it’s empty

  • Larry Miller says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. That’s disgusting.

  • Katie says:

    Dont forget to garnish with most flacid piece of mint you can find

  • Stephen Hewes says:

    As a mint julep? Total mindf**k of a trainwreck. Additionally, if that’s their method for a Mojito? Bottled water is my drink of choice in this establishment.

  • christiaan rollich says:

    I know it sucks,
    I also know that when I used a soda gun for the firs time I used the T for tonic.

  • Theodore Abbot says:

    She was making a drink? Didn’t notice. I would order milk.

  • Jesse says:

    Excellent post, sir! In recognition for your contribution to Humanity in general and Cocktails in particular, we have voted to award you the prestigious L. Farley Falernum Memorial Award for Mixological Integrity:

    http://gentlemenadventurers.com/2013/01/03/valiantly-rescuing-the-mint-julep-from-the-clutches-of-woodford/

    Please contact the League of Gentlemen Adventurers to collect your prize!

    Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu!

  • Scruntle says:

    Sir Jeffrey.
    When are you going to update your website? Please do it soon.

    p.s. i’ve been using a 3:5 sour mix to bourbon ratio at the local Hooters establishment that I run and people have been raving about it… but sometimes I question the quality of mint that we are using. We get our mint from a can, which comes in a sort of mint-soup sauce from Sysco, and I was wondering if it might be worth-while/cost-effective to possibly just going frozen mint on our Juleps there??-as Julep’s are basically a frozen drink.

    anyways… i love the pictures on your website–they are super cool!

  • Dave says:

    I love your blog and have missed seeing new posts! Hope you are inspired to write more soon.

  • lily says:

    Omg I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. That’s the most appalling thing I’ve ever seen since my “bartender” added Jack Daniels in my friend’s Long Island. What a bawstardisation of such good bourbon.

  • April Wachtel says:

    Jeffrey, I love this! Randomly found a link to this post, and got a great morning laugh out of it. Thanks!!!!;) April

  • Ian Tuck says:

    It’s that time of year again: http://www.refinery29.com/mint-julep-recipe

    [sigh]

    Better than the original video, but still.

  • Samuel says:

    Fucking hilarious!

  • hahaha Great Video. Thanks for Sharing.

  • Joseph A says:

    I like when a cocktail comes with a whole tree as a garnish, makes me feel special.
    I also noticed the 2-step lime cordial pour, gonna keep that and make it my new signature move.

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