Mint juleps and Long Island iced tea sound like ideal summer drinks, don’t they? I have never tried either, so I decided to do a little research.

Both drinks are sweetened with simple syrup, made by boiling a cup of water and a cup of sugar until the sugar dissolves, then letting it cool.

Mint Julep

3 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon simple syrup
2 ounces bourbon
1 mint sprig for garnish

Put the mint leaves in the bottom of a mixing glass, pour in the simply syrup and 1 ounce of the bourbon, and muddle the mixture to crush the mint leaves. Add the remaining 1 ounce of bourbon and let it sit for a couple of minutes to blend the flavors. Fill a cocktail glass or julep cup with crushed iced and strain the julep into it. Garnish with a spring of mint.

Long Island Iced Tea

1 ounce vodka
1 ounce tequila
1 ounce white rum
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce gin
1.5 ounces lemon juice
2 ounces simple syrup
dash of cola
mint sprig & lemon slice for garnish

Mix all of the ingredients in tall glass filled with ice, garnish with mint and lemon, and serve.

I’m not likely to make either of these drinks at home because I don’t have most of the ingredients. I’ve never tried bourbon and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like the taste, but I’m guessing the sugar and mint would take the edge off that. And I love the look of the traditional silver or pewter julep cup. Very elegant.

Long Island iced tea—with no actual tea but five ounces of alcohol!—looks like a ready-made hangover, and I’m not sure any amount of sugar and lemon could take the edge off that combination. Although it looks deceptively refreshing, I’ll stick to real iced tea.


Until next time,


If you drink, please don’t drive. If you’re pregnant, please don’t drink at all.

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