With a garden full of mint, a new bottle of Jameson, and the Kentucky Derby scheduled to run, what’s a resourceful Southern gal to do but whip up a batch of mint juleps? A traditional julep, of course, is made with sugar, but otherwise there isn’t much too low-carb hostile in them, so I set to work! You need an infused simple syrup. Of course a traditional simple syrup is 1 to 1 sugar and water — for instance a cup of sugar and a cup of water — heated to put the sugar into solution. You can do the same with granular Splenda or xylitol, but it won’t be sticky like real ‘syrup’ is. Here’s the recipe we enjoyed while watching Orb take the muddy Derby on Saturday.
Low Carb Jameson Julep
Makes 2 cocktails (feel free to multiply)
1/4 cup granular Splenda (or other sweetening agent equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar)
1/4 cup water
3 or 4 branches of mint, stripped for leaves
4 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey (or good Kentucky bourbon)
2 cups ice cubes
1. About an hour ahead, if you have time, dissolve the sweetener in the water, add the mint leaves, and heat gently over a low flame for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep. Before using, remove the spent mint.
2. When ready to make the cocktails, put the ice into a heavy duty zip-closure bag, seal, and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet (or other suitable heavy smooth implement) to crush.
3. Pack two julep cups with crushed ice and fresh mint leaves.
4. In a cocktail shaker, mix the cooled mint syrup, 4 ounces of Jameson, and several ice cubes and shake well to chill.
5. Strain the cocktail into the two glasses, garnish with a fresh mint sprig, and enjoy!