Upshot Whiskey finally finished barrelling at the Whipper Snapper Distillery about a week ago. I'd been in for a tour back in 2014, when they'd just started filling their third barrel. We tasted their moonshine and a couple of the experiments they were barrelling in much smaller casks. Things were promising, but not yet amazing. I took home a bottle of Moonshine and used it as a sort of rum-vodka hybrid. I didn't know that I'd somehow made it onto their mailing list, but was nonetheless delighted to hear years later that the Whiskey was bottled.
And it's Brilliant! It's like a really robust Bourbon, with whatever magic is instilled by the inclusion local ingredients (I was skeptical about this part back on the first visit, but Hippocampus' wonderful Vodka has since changed my mind). By design it's something you can give to a first time drinker, or to a seasoned bourbon connoisseur, and please them both.
So to celebrate a whiskey which is more than the sum of its parts, why not a cocktail which does the same?
Every time I make a mint Julep I can't believe how simple they are. Mint, whiskey, sugar, crushed ice. They're more delicious than they deserve to be, still unmistakeably bourbon but light, summery and incredibly easy to drink.
The Mint Julep is a drink from the American South around the eighteenth century. The ability to provide Juleps to guests was somewhat of a status symbol as it inferred that the host had the wealth to buy ice, or owned an ice house; that they could afford the silver cups they were served in, and that they had staff with the skill to make one. Originally you were just as likely to be offered a julep made of brandy or genever, but modern Mint Juleps are almost always bourbon.
The Mint Julep
1.5 Oz Upshot Australian Whiskey (Or any bourbon)
0.5Oz Simple Syrup
8 Mint leaves for muddling (Plus three more for garnish)
Muddle the syrup with 8 mint leaves in a julep or highball cup
Fill with crushed ice and 1.5Oz Whiskey
Garnish with 3 Mint Leaves