Becky Stayner’s Cocktail of the Week


image credit: Becky Stayner

Having had the pleasure of working on many shoots with food photographer Becky Stayner, I can testify what a cool, Southern, lady she is. Her photographs are elegant, but honest and she makes taking them look easy! She is so talented and so humble. Obsessed with tabletop items, vessels, food, and drink…ok,we love the same things. Despite having lived all over, she maintains deep roots in her birthplace of Kentucky. Who could be better for creating a Derby week cocktail for Cocktail of the Week? Hats off to you pretty lady + many thanks for your mint julep recipe. Cheers!

Becky says:

I’ve sipped many a bad mint julep! Even at the Derby. It wasn’t until I began trying to make my own for my first derby party that I figured it out. I had photographed “The Book of Bourbon” by Gary and Mardee Regan. After shooting this book I realized the problems with all those mint juleps I’d had. People tend to cheat on the ingredients. See below for my instructions on the best way to make a mint julep.

Becky’s Mint Julep

Handful of crushed Ice (a MUST)
2 oz. good bourbon (cheap bourbon is like drinking pond water)
1 oz. simple syrup ( none of this stirring in a spoonful of sugar-gritty, its not near as tasty)
6 leaves of fresh mint + fresh mint for garnish

Make the simple syrup by bringing one cup of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in one cup of sugar till it dissolves. Once it’s chilled, stir in mint leaves to steep overnight (this is my addition). Put crushed ice, bourbon, and mint leaf simple syrup in a julep cup. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Don’t crush the leaves! Be gentle…after all, this is a Southern drink.

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