Herby Julep

I know that a mint julep has nothing to do with Christmas, but I love serving a drink like this, with all of the crushed ice and herbs, right before or during a big holiday meal. This drink winds up being boozy but also refreshing and fun. We always had wine when I was growing up and I love that about the holidays but a signature cocktail that departs from the norm is a great way to shake things up.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

1/3 cup sugar

5 tea bags Earl Grey

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint 

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

2 sprigs basil, stemmed 

2 sprigs mint, stemmed 

2 to 3 limes, halved

20 ounces bourbon

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in the sugar and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tea bags and mint, then remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and discard the tea bags and mint. Cool for about 1 hour, and then stir in the lemon juice.
  2. Fill 8 smallish glasses (or classic julep cups) with crushed ice and muddle in a few leaves basil and mint in each glass, bruising the herbs and mixing them with the ice. Add a squeeze from the limes to each glass, then pour about 3 1/2 ounces of the cooled syrup and about 2 1/2 ounces of the bourbon per glass. Add a straw and enjoy.
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