Prescription Julep

Well, I was actually really looking forward to today’s article since a few days. Just as I am also looking forward to the addressed drink every time I’ll get the chance to order it in a bar or just to make it for myself. It is once again a real classic cocktail which goes back to the year 1857 (at least) and it simply delivers exactly what I love about a cocktail: the wonderful experience of enjoying high-quality spirits in a great combination with a refined aromatic twist.

Well, this description may not fit to every cocktail – a sour or a Tiki punch may differ from that since their final taste is often quite far from the actual basics. And yet, they can be excellent cocktails. But anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that my real passion is more with the “purist” kind of drinks; especially the Juleps, Negronis and Old Fashioneds. And since today’s drink is a julep, you don’t have to guess that I will most likely like it. I’m talking about the Prescription Julep, a drink whose recipe has been first published in printed form in “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine” in 1857. It is a cultural and political magazine that still exists in the USA until the present day. The drink basically takes up the essential elements of the classic Mint Julep, but does not rely on Bourbon but on a combination of Cognac and Rye Whiskey. And I hope you will be hooked as much as I am when reading such a combination. Whenever you’re mixing such a cocktail it is, of course, quite appropriate to use very high quality ingredients. As a Cognac I opted for the very beautiful Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840 Original Formula, which also has been designed in the spirit of the Cognacs of the 19th century. As a rye whiskey I chose to use the Whistlepig, a 100% -Rye that I once brought from New York.

The combination of sugar cube and sugar syrup may be unusual in the recipe variant I am using here. It is, to a certain extent, both classical and practical: the sugar cube combines very nicely and intensively with the aromas of the mint leaves when muddling, while a little additional liquid sugar syrup prevents the mint of completely being shredded and thus becoming bitter.

A note to the name of the cocktail: Of course it is meant in an ironical way. Even in the nineteenth century it would have been clear to the people that a prescription would never really call for such a drink as a way to better health (at least I hope so).


5 cl Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840 Original Formula
1 cl + 1 bar spoon of Rye Whiskey (for example Whistlepig)
0.5 cl of sugar syrup
1 Sugar cube
Approx. 10 mint leaves

Preparation: First, muddle the mint with sugar cube and sugar syrup carefully in a silver cup with your muddler. The mint should not be completely shredded, but may turn a little bit into mint sugar. Now add the spirits (hold back a bar spoon of Rye Whiskey) and fill the silver cup with crushed ice and stir until cold. Then add additional crushed ice into the cup and form a small ice cone on top of the drink. Now sprinkle the last bar spoon of Rye Whiskey over the ice cone and garnish with mint and icing sugar (both on top of the ice cone and the mint garnish).

Glass: Silver cup

Garnish: mint and powdered/icing sugar

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online. I like to buy my mint in Turkish supermarkets.

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