Thursday, 16 February 2012

Frozen Mint Julep (or Mojito, or Daiquiri, or Caipirinha, or Caipiroska...)

Last September, I went on a trip to visit friends at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. On one occasion, I was taken to a local restaurant called Crooks Corner, where a  frozen mint julep was served as a dessert. A dish of mint sorbet, liberally doused in bourbon. Incredible.

I got to thinking, as long as you make a sorbet of any kind and keep it in the freezer; any time you fancy a frozen cocktail (or dessert, as the North Carolinans do), then just cleave off a big chunk and pour over any booze you like.

If you use white rum with your mint sorbet, you have a mojito. If you use cachaca, and omit the mint from the sorbet recipe, you have a caiparinha. If you use vodka instead, you have a caipiroska. If you use a fruit-flavoured sorbet with white rum, you have a frozen fruit daiquiri. You get the idea - experiment!

All you need to do, is make a stock syrup with a 1:1 sugar to water ratio, and flavour it, to make your sorbet. It's so easy and cheap to make - only the booze will cause a signifcant dent in your wallet. If you make the frozen mint julep with Wild Turkey whiskey, as I have here, the cost is around £1 per serving.

Serves 4


200g caster sugar
200ml water
Juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes or 1 lemon
Large handful of mint leaves
4 double (or treble!) shots of Wild Turkey whiskey, to serve

In a pan, over a moderate heat, dissolve the sugar in the water and lime or lemon juice and zest. Add the mint leaves and allow mixture to cool. Once cool, take out the mint leaves and place the mixture in a freezer-proof container. Freeze until there is a 1cm layer of ice on the surface. Mix the surface ice vigorously into the rest of the liquid. Replace back into the freezer and repeat one or two more times until you have a smooth sorbet. Serve with a dousing of the whiskey.

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