White linen is required and pearls are the perfect accessories for a Friday afternoon at Galatoire's restaurant in New Orleans. My girlfriends and I may take it a bit too far with the tiaras, although they usually don't show up until after the initial Mint Juleps.
Makes 8 servings, 5 ounces each
• 2 cups lightly packed fresh mint • 2 cups water
• 1 cup sugar • 1 cup orange juice
• 1½ cups bourbon • 1 cup orange juice
• granulated sugar • crushed ice
• fresh mint sprigs
• halved orange slices
Place mint leaves in a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine the water and cup of sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; pour over mint leaves. Stir in orange juice.
Cover and let stand at room temperature for one hour. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer. Stir in bourbon. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.
Place granulated sugar in a shallow dish; wet the edge of eight glasses and dip into sugar to coat. Add crushed ice to glasses. Divide bourbon mixture among glasses (about two-thirds of a cup per glass). Garnish with mint and orange slices.
To read Regina's thoughts on white linens, crushed ice, and her annual trip to a special New Orleans restaurant, click here.