Last night after work, Kramer and I grabbed a quick slice from Tony’s, washed it down with a $3 beer from Harefield, then walked over to The Brooklyn Kitchen for a sausage making class. It was maybe the most fun that I’ve had on a weeknight in a long time. We started out tasting some of the sausages that they make at The Meat Hook, which is an awesome butcher shop attached to the store, then got to work mixing and casing some sausages. We made parsley and Parmesan sausages, then some red wine and rosemary sausages. Each kind were absolutely delicious, and we each got a few links to take home (which I am quite excited to eat for dinner tonight). Of course, Kramer and I walked out with not only sausages, but also with the proper KitchenAid attachment to make our own sausage at home, so hopefully by posting that we did, indeed, buy these pieces of equipment, we will actually use them. I posted a few photos of our meat-centric adventure, and if you find yourself looking through the kitchen’s list of classes, I highly recommend taking one or two. We had a great time, both of the instructors were helpful and funny, and we made some friends in our group of people from all over the country – it was a win-win-win.
I think that sausage, while it goes well with beer (obviously), can be paired up with bourbon, too, which leads me to this Mint Julep. The Kentucky Derby will be taking place this upcoming Saturday, and while Kramer and I will most likely be found at Maison Premiere, sipping some juleps and listening to the race, instead of actually at the event itself, I think it’s a fun American tradition that is certainly worth celebrating. To make this julep extra special, I made a quick mint syrup by steeping fresh mint leaves in hot simple syrup for about an hour, on top of muddling more mint leaves for the drink. This cocktail requires a lot of ice, as it’s meant to be sipped and the water helps make an otherwise extremely strong drink quite light and refreshing. You don’t need to have real julep cups to enjoy this summer beverage, but I have to admit, it will make you feel extra fun and fancy when you do!
Kramer and I getting ready for our sausage making class at The Brooklyn Kitchen last night.
Me, casing the sausage. That’s what she said.
So, your ingredients.
Make your mint simple syrup by steeping your mint leaves and 1 clove in it for at least an hour, until it’s cooled.
Strain the wilted mint from the syrup.
Then muddle some fresh mint leaves, about 15 per drink (and try to remember that you are now an adult and should probably stop wearing your old college sweatshirt that you bought last minute on that day that ended up being colder than you thought it would be).
Pour in your bourbon, along with your mint syrup and plenty of ice.
Now, it’s important to just give everything a good stir and to not shake this – you’ll have plenty of ice to cool/water down the drink later on.
Strain the drink into your glasses that are halfway filled with ice.
Then pack the top with lots of crushed ice – I don’t have an ice maker, so I put some cubes in a plastic bag, wrapped it in a dishcloth, and went to town on it with my rolling pin.
Serve with a small straw and sip away.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 large bunch mint leaves
- 7 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces mint simple syrup
- 25-30 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- ice cubes
- crushed ice
- First, make your simple syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small pot, bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Place the bunch of mint leaves in a heat proof bowl or container and pour the syrup over them. Allow the mint leaves to steep in the syrup for at least 1 hour in the fridge (you can let them steep for up to 24 hours). When you're ready, strain the mint leaves from the syrup, discard the leaves, and set the syrup aside.
- Now, make your cocktail. In a cocktail shaker, place 25-30 mint leaves (for 2 drinks) and muddle them well to release their oils and aromas. Pour in the 7 ounces of bourbon and 2 ounces of mint simple, then top with a few ice cubes. Stir, don't shake, then strain the cocktail into two chilled,fa ice filled glasses. Top each drink with a good amount of crushed ice (I made my crushed ice by putting regular cubes in a plastic bag, wrapping the bag in a paper towel, and bashing it with a rolling pin - it's basically therapy, after which you are rewarded with a delicious cocktail) and a small bunch of mint leaves.