No Place in a Mint Julep

by Gaz Regan · Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 · Quotes

“Jack Hurley, a traveling man, drops off at a fair-sized town in Kentucky. He desires an appetizer, enters ‘the hotel bar and calls for a Manhattan cocktail. The mixer proceeds to put together what he calls a Manhattan. Jack tastes the combination and expresses dissatisfaction and takes a straight bourbon instead.

The mixer feels justified in giving vent to a few words of explanation, and asserts that a barboy from New York showed him how to make Manhattans just the same as they served them in “Little Old New York.” Jack says in response: “You purchase yourself a Mixed Drink Guide and make sure. If you had to travel to every section of the world where mixed decoctions first made their appearance you would be on the move for the remainder of your life.”

A few weeks later Jack Hurley visited the big town of New York. The day of his arrival was sultry and humid. He dropped into the hotel bar and ordered a Mint Julep. A suave and smiling barboy placed beforehim a tall glass containing what he called a Mint Julep. Jack, be it remembered, is an all-around connoisseur of food and drinks. He could hardly be otherwise, for twenty of his years have been lived under the roofs of some of the best hotels in the world.

He sipped the alleged Mint Julep and pushed it back to the barboy and ordered a tall glass of white wine and live water. “What’s the matter with the Julep?” inquired the barboy. “Nothing the matter with the Mint Julep, but that mixture which you have there does not happen to come under that classification,” was the reply.

Naturally some conversation ensued, and the bar- boy imparted the information that he had been making Mint Juleps just as he had the one rejected by Jack for many years and that he was shown how to mix one by a barboy from Kentucky. “Let me see your Drink Guide, and then you tell me what you put in that glass and I will show you that you are on the wrong track,” said Jack. “I never used such a thing, and I never saw a good bartender that did,” replied the now angry barboy.

“That’s it, my friend. You are not the only fellow who parades with a white vest, jacket and apron who learned all the tricks of the trade from some fellow who SAID he knew, yet who probably had but recently broke into the business with a nerve and map which got him by on excitement.”

“Who ought to know- how to mix a Mint Julep,” inquired the barboy of Jack, “if not the fellows who come from the section of the country where they originated it?” “That, my friend,” retorted Jack, “is equivalent to expecting a man who lives over a bakery and pastry shop to know how to make fine pies and Parker House rolls.

And take this bit of information from me, my friend, there are thousands of people in Kentucky who neither know the taste of a Mint Julep, and would not know one if it was set down in front of them: and the same goes with supposedly New York drinks such as the Manhattan cocktail.”

It was not many weeks after that that a book, enclosed in an envelope and bearing the postmark Binghamton, N. Y., reposed in the little drawer next to the cigar case; and it was not until then that the barboy discovered that the juice and rind of a lemon had no place in a Mint Julep.”  Mixer and Server  Published by Hotel and Restaurant Employee’s International Alliance and Bartenders’ International League of America., 1916.

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