Drink Like… Daisy Buchanan

Daisy rose, smiling faintly, and went to the table.

‘Open the whiskey, Tom,’ she ordered, ‘and I’ll make you a mint julep. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself. . . . Look at the mint!'”




Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is many things; wife of Tom Buchanan, cousin of Nick Carraway, love interest of Jay Gatsby, and maker of mint juleps. How fitting that a Kentucky girl like Daisy Buchanan would pick a drink that contains bourbon, Kentucky being known for making countless gallons and varieties of the sweet, rich, liquid.

And as if containing bourbon wasn’t enough of a reason to try a mint julep, the julep also has the honor of having its own glassware.


So shiny.

So shiny.


What’s great about the mint julep, besides the fact that the word julep is fun to say and worth double digits points in scrabble, is that making a mint julep versatile is as simple as changing the type of mint one uses. One can make a julep with the standard peppermint and spearmint, or the more exotic orange mint and apple mint, or one of the two mint varieties named after drinks the mint julep mint (of course) and the mojito mint.

So many choices.


All in all, there are hundreds of different types of mint. That’s a lot of different juleps to try, but be warned resulting cocktails will vary greatly.


Mint leaves. From left to right peppermint, Eau de Cologne mint (M. citrata), Japanese mint (M. arvensis var. piperascens, also known as var. japonica), horsemint or silver mint (M. longifolia), Moroccan green mint (M. spicata), pineapple mint (M. suaveolens) and Carinthian mint (M. carinthiaca = M. arvensis x M. suaveolens)

Mint leaves. From left to right peppermint, Eau de Cologne mint, Japanese mint, horsemint or silver mint, Moroccan green mint, pineapple mint and Carinthian mint.
Information from Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages


The classic mint julep recipe is below:


3oz. of bourbon

1 teaspoon of sugar

6-7 mint leaves

Crushed ice


Place 6 mint leaves in a prechilled glass, add sugar then muddle them together.

Pack cup with ice then pour bourbon over the ice.

Stir with a straw, garnish with mint, and enjoy.



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