Prescription Julep

From Imbibe, by David Wondrich:

“This little piece of medical humour comes from ‘A Winter in the South,’ a serial Harper’s Monthly ran in 1857. It also happens to be the tastiest Mint Julep recipe I know. Cognac and rye whiskey are a marriage made in heaven, the cognac mellowing the rye and the rye adding spice to the cognac.

The doctor accordingly wrote out a prescription for the case, as follows:

  • 1/2 oz. white sugar
  • with spring water, as much as necessary [1 oz]
  • 1 1/2 oz. strong cognac
  • 1/2 oz. spirits of rye
  • mint leaves, as desired
  • infuse [the sugar, water, and spirits with the mint]
  • then add as much powdered ice as necessary and mix it all up

Repeat dose 3 or 4 times a day until cold weather.
“Quackenboss M.D.”

source: Harper’s Monthly, 1857

Notes on execution: Dissolve the sugar in the water, lightly press the mint leaves in resulting syrup, add the spirits and the ice, and stir. If desired, you can add another hedge of mint to the top. And have at it with a straw.”


Excerpt from Imbibe, Perigee Trade (November 6, 2007).

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