I have never had a mint or any other kind of julep, although I’ve read about them often enough in stories where characters would sit on verandas sipping them. At the time I didn’t really consider what they might be, just some sort of cooling exotic drink I probably thought. The word comes via a Spanish word of Moorish origin… or does it come from Old French and Medieval Latin? Whatever its origins, and there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be several, it originated from a Persia. word for rosewater. In nineteenth century America it became an alcoholic drink, traditionally bourbon, crushed ice, syrup and of course mint.
If you look up julep there are dozens of variations on the original recipe, and many businesses have used the name because it just sounds so… so cool! The reason I’m thinking and wondering about julep is there is a recipe in the Electrolux booklet I have, pages 3-20, the cover and other pages having disappeared over the years. It comes in the iced drinks section, along with cider punch, canton fruit cup, iced chocolate, iced coffee (with ice-cream) cream float and party punch.
This is a very homely booklet and the cider punch is just cider, lemonade and soda water, the party punch (for tennis or any other social gathering) is lemon squash, orange squash, grapefruit squash, lime squash, lemonade, sparkling water and cider… I think these days we would find it very sweet.
The julep recipe is simplicity itself:
- ½ pint lemon squash
- 3 pints ginger ale
- ½ water
- bunch of fresh mint
- stand the mint leaves in the lemon squash and water in the refrigerator for 30 mins
- when ready to serve, add iced ginger ale
- serve in small glasses