The Mint Julep
The Mint Julep, a distinctive Southern drink, popular in the ante bellum South right up through modern times, is a mixture of water, sugar, mint leaves and, above all, bourbon whiskey. While it can be purchased today in modern drinking establishments in the South, those served there bear little resemblance to those served in the home. The serving of this elixir to family and guests on a hot summer afternoon was, and is, accomplished with the greatest fanfare and flourish to show respect for those receiving it. It is as much of a ceremony as it is a drink.
The following is a copy of a letter from Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., USA [(VMI-1906, West Point-1908) killed on Okinawa June 18, 1945] to Major General William D. Connor, [Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point] dated March 30, 1937. Buckner Jr. was the son of General Simon Bolivar Buckner of the Confederate army who surrendered Fort Donelson to General Grant, thus giving Grant his nickname of "Unconditional Surrender" Grant. This letter clearly demonstrates the esteem in which a "Mint Julep" is held.
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.
This Page last updated 10/01/02
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