Controversial topic alert!…
How do y’all feel about country music? Yep, I’m finally broaching the subject here. I gather it’s usually a love it or hate it situation, but isn’t there a “tolerate it but wouldn’t listen to it on my own” crowd? I used to be in that last category until I started sharing a car with my mom when I was living in California. Sometimes we’d switch it up, but I know she prefers the country radio station, so that was on all. the. time. (Looooove you, Mom.) Admittedly not my favorite thing at first – I didn’t do well with the super twangy, “beer and fishin” type songs (still don’t actually), but I did start to find some gems that I really enjoyed in the Keith Urban, The Band Perry, and Thompson Square genre. And then, slowly but surely I started listening to it on my own and discovering much much more.
I think I really love country music because it’s just honest, straight-shooting music that makes you feel good. Lots of ballads which are usually about love or heartbreak and songs just celebrating the countryside or summertime. It’s the perfect thing to listen to say when you’re enjoying a wonderfully refreshing cocktail out on the balcony as the sun sets…perhaps when you’re enjoying a Sweet Tea Mint Julep? :)
I made these for some friends under those spectacular conditions on a warm summer evening with some feel-good country playing in the background. The southern girl in me truly loves sweet tea and mint juleps, so why would we not combine the two in one beautiful summer beverage?! It would also be delicious without the bourbon if you’d like a non-alcoholic version, but ours may have had a splash of Jack in it :)
Here’s what I did:
Sweet Tea Mint Julep
*makes 6-8 glasses
Inspired by Cooking Light
To make a simple syrup, in a small sauce pan over high heat, combine:
-½ c. sugar (raw cane sugar if you have it)
-½ c. water
Heat the mixture until the sugar granules start to dissolve. Then add:
-1 c. fresh mint leaves
Lower the heat a little to about medium and heat the simple syrup and mint for about 5 minutes. Pour the mint syrup into a bowl to cool.
In a pitcher filled with ice, combine:
-2 or 3 c. black iced tea (start with two and then taste and add more if you like)
-1 c. bourbon (or whiskey)
-½ c. freshly squeezed lime juice
-the mint syrup
Taste the cocktail and adjust the flavors to your liking, then pour over ice and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!
French phrase for fun:
Ecoutons une nouvelle musique. Peut-être que la country?
Let’s listen to some new music. Perhaps country?