Last month, I tasted Jacob’s Ghost, the new white whiskey from Jim Beam. It’s aged for at least a year in a charred white-oak barrel; the tinge of resulting color is filtered out, leaving it clear, but the aging gives it a sweeter flavor than many so-called white dogs. I still wouldn’t drink it straight, but when my friend Joy Perrine, mixologist extraordinaire, told me about how she had infused it for a julep recipe, I was intrigued. I gave it a try myself, and I have to say, it made a tasty julep – certainly better than any I’ve had at Churchill Downs, although that’s setting a pretty low bar. Joy calls it a “Green Dog,” but mine didn’t turn out very green, so I’m calling it a White Julep. (You might also call it Ghost of a Chance, which is what most of us have at winning at the track.)
The recipe is below. Note that the bourbon and mint leaves have to infuse for three days, so if you want to make these for your Derby party, get started now!
Infusion: Pour the contents of a 750ml bottle of Jacob’s Ghost into a glass jar. (Save the bottle.) Add 2 cups of Kentucky Colonel mint leaves that have been washed and dried. Stir. Seal the bottle and let it sit for three days. Strain contents and pour back into the Jacob’s Ghost bottle.
To make a julep: Muddle 6 mint leaves with 1 ounce of simple syrup. In a shaker filled with crushed ice, combine syrup with 2-3 ounces of the infused Jacob’s Ghost and 1 ounce of water. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass over crushed ice. Garnish with mint. Enjoy!
Col. Bourbon casts a wary eye at the White Julep, but gives it a pass since it matches his suit.