The traditional Kentucky mint julep served at the Kentucky Derby is fresh mint muddled with sugar, bourbon with lots of ice. But a “julep” can be a sweet drink with any variety of liquor, water, sugar and sometime mint. This julep is a non-alcoholic drink but you could boose it up with rum, vodka or bourbon.
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 3 minutes, or just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
In a large measuring cup or serving jug, mix together the simple syrup with the orange juice, mint and lime juice. Let sit for 5 minutes so that the flavours blend together.
Fill 4 tall glasses with ice. Pour ½ cup of the orange mix into each glass and top with ¼ cup of carbonated water into each glass. Garnish with orange slices and mint leaves. Serve immediately. Yield: Serves 4