spring mintspiration, part 2: mint lemonade julep

It’s May Day, aka the Real Labor Day, which makes it a perfect time to share a recipe from a recent Bread & Roses themed brunch I recently hosted.

It was an all-women’s gathering on a warm spring day in Cairo, and so I brewed up a huge batch of mint lemonade (which is a favorite all over the region, but is really best in Beirut) and added just enough bourbon and flower water to make it a proper julep.  I’m including this in the Revolutionary Counter series, since the brunch was named after a labor slogan, after all, and since simply creating a women’s-only space in Cairo feels a little revolutionary.

Mint Lemonade Julep

You will need:
Lemon juice
Water
Several large bunches of mint
Sugar
Splashes of orange flower water
Whiskey or bourbon (optional)

First, make your mint simple syrup: place a large bunch of fresh, washed mint leaves in a heatproof bowl or pot. Mix equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and dissolve over low heat. As soon as it’s dissolved, pour it immediately over the mint and cover. Allow to steep for several hours or overnight (if overnight, place it in the fridge once it cools to room temperature).

Next, mix: the ratio for making the lemonade is equal parts lemon juice, simple syrup, and water, with a few splashes of orange flower water to taste; and as plain old mint lemonade, it’s delicious all on its own.

If you want to add a little alcohol into the mix, add 2 parts whiskey for every 1 part lemon juice (and a splash of floral bitters, if you’ve got ’em). Mix well, serve over lots of ice, and garnish with mint.

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