It’s summer and to some of us in the bourbon world, that means it’s also Julep Season. My wife is a big fan of the mint julep. It carries all the lovely flavors of a good bourbon and adds in some sweetness and delicate mint. I normally take my julep without the mint, sugar, julep cup or most of the ice when I make one for her but I can be persuaded on a particularly hot day to partake.
But sometimes making a julep can be a bit too much for me. On a lazy Saturday afternoon? Sure. On that same Saturday when I’ve been working on the landscaping all day? Not a chance. I prefer my cocktail to be whiskey in a glass on a day like that.
I saw somewhere that last Saturday was National Mint Julep Day. I have no idea if that is actually a thing or if it was just a random person on Twitter proclaiming their love for the julep, but it was enough to make my wife want one. The trouble was it was a Saturday that I spent all day shoveling a pickup-load of mulch into various places in my yard and I wasn’t in the mood for making one. So it was with no little interest that when we went to the liquor store for beer that evening that I noticed the Old Forester Ready-To-Drink Mint Julep. My wife seemed satisfied, so we picked it up.
I was curious about just how “ready-to-drink” this was after my wife told me it was better on the rocks than just chilled. And so as a service to you, my dear reader, we took it upon ourselves to do a completely scientific (not at all scientific) discovery as to how ready to drink it really was. We tried it chilled in a Glencairn, 2 ounces made into a mint julep and then in desperation with an additional half ounce of good bourbon dumped in.
Old Forester Ready to Drink Mint Julep
Purchase Info: $24.99, 1 Liter. Viking Liquor Barrel, Prior Lake, MN
Details: 30% ABV, Caramel Colored
Nose: Heavy spearmint gum and something resembling whiskey
Mouth: Sugary sweet and thick. Spearmint gum and no hint of whiskey.
Finish: None to speak of.
Thoughts (neat): Well this isn’t very good, but then it’s hardly a fair test, is it? Whether it says “ready to drink” or not, I doubt it was intended to be tasted out of a Glencairn glass. Let’s try it next in it something like it’s natural environment. Let’s make a mint julep out of it. It’s already sweet and minty so I’m just going to pour it over crushed ice in a julep cup and shove in a large sprig of mint:
Thoughts (in Julep): Wow, this is still way too sweet for me. My wife tells me it’s better, I’m starting to doubt her good sense. The overpowering mint has been cut some, but a medicinal bitterness remains. In desperation, I decide to mix in a half ounce of good bourbon.
Thoughts (in julep with additional bourbon): So this isn’t terrible and on a hot day, where I’m too tired to make a julep, it should do. In a pinch. If you are out of beer. And don’t have a car. And live too far away from the store to walk.
Never mind, just shove a mint sprig in your bourbon and call it good. (Maybe even Old Forester.)
BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!