Mint Juleps - USMA recipe

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by greeneagle5, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

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    >>> COPY OF A LETTER FROM COLONEL (later LIEUTENANT GENERAL) SIMON BOLIVAR BUCKNER, JR., USA
    [ WEST POINT-1908, KILLED ON OKINAWA 18 JUNE 1945] TO MAJOR GENERAL WM. D. CONNOR,
    SUPERINTENDENT OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT
    >>>
    >>> 30 MARCH 1937
    >>>
    >>> My dear General Connor:
    >>>
    >>> Your letter requesting my formula for mixing mint juleps leaves me
    >>> in the same position in which Captain
    >>> Barber found himself when asked how he was able to carve the image
    >>> of an elephant from a block of
    >>> wood. He said that it was a simple process consisting merely of
    >>> whittling off the part that didn't look like
    >>> an elephant.
    >>>
    >>> The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be
    >>> described only in like terms. A
    >>> mint julep is not a product of a formula. It is a ceremony and must
    >>> be performed by a gentleman
    >>> possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the
    >>> ingredients and a proper appreciation of
    >>> the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice,
    >>> a statistician nor a Yankee. It is a
    >>> heritage of the Old South, and emblem of hospitality, and a vehicle
    >>> in which noble minds can travel
    >>> together upon the flower-strewn paths of a happy and congenial
    >>> thought.
    >>>
    >>> So far as the mere mechanics of the operation are concerned, the
    >>> procedure, stripped of its ceremonial
    >>> embellishments, can be described as follows:
    >>>
    >>> Go to a spring where cool, crystal-clear water bubbles from under a
    >>> bank of dew-washed ferns. In a
    >>> consecrated vessel, dip up a little water at the source. Follow the
    >>> stream thru its banks of green moss
    >>> and wild flowers until it broadens and trickles thru beds of mint
    >>> growing in aromatic profusion and waving
    >>> softly in the summer breeze. Gather the sweetest and tenderest
    >>> shoots and gently carry them home. Go
    >>> to the sideboard and select a decanter of Kentucky Bourbon
    >>> distilled by a master hand, mellowed with
    >>> age, yet still vigorous and inspiring. An ancestral sugar bowl, a
    >>> row of silver goblets, some spoons and
    >>> some ice and you are ready to start.
    >>>
    >>> Into a canvas bag pound twice as much ice as you think you will
    >>> need. Make it fine as snow, keep it dry
    >>> and do not allow it to degenerate into slush.
    >>>
    >>> Into each goblet, put a slightly heaping teaspoonful of granulated
    >>> sugar, barely cover this with spring
    >>> water and slightly bruise one mint leaf into this, leaving the
    >>> spoon in the goblet. Then pour elixir from
    >>> the decanter until the goblets are about one-fourth full. Fill the
    >>> goblets with snowy ice, sprinkling in a
    >>> small amount of sugar as you fill. Wipe the outside of the goblets
    >>> dry, and embellish copiously with mint.
    >>>
    >>> Then comes the delicate and important operation of frosting. By
    >>> proper manipulation of the spoon, the
    >>> ingredients are circulated and blended until nature, wishing to
    >>> take a further hand and add another of its
    >>> beautiful phenomena, encrusts the whole in a glistening coat of
    >>> white frost. Thus harmoniously blended
    >>> by the deft touches of a skilled hand, you have a beverage
    >>> eminently appropriate for honorable men and
    >>> beautiful women.
    >>>
    >>> When all is ready, assemble your guests on the porch or in the
    >>> garden where the aroma of the juleps will
    >>> rise heavenward and make the birds sing. Propose a worthy toast,
    >>> raise the goblets to your lips, bury
    >>> your nose in the mint, inhale a deep breath of its fragrance and
    >>> sip the nectar of the gods.
    >>>
    >>> Being overcome with thirst, I can write no further.
    >>>
    >>> Sincerely, S.B. Buckner, Jr., Colonel >
     

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