Congratulations: you've almost made it. Every week in the summer seems to drag on endlessly, languid and tedious, until the weekend, when finally the heat can be a source of joy and late nights rather than a burdensome back-and-forth between sweaty commutes and frigid office air-conditioning.
It's Thursday, glorious Thursday—the precedent to Friday, and probably the best night to go out properly if you hate being hungover on a Tuesday but equally hate having to shove through the bridge-and-tunnel masses on the weekends.
So how do we suggest making like a hellion and embracing the swelter of summer? With a julep, naturally. It's swampy and sweaty and humid down in the American South, and you'd better bet that they've designed their cocktails to cool down accordingly.
The drink that we've got in mind features some special cues from Japanese cuisine. Rather than our silly old Western-style peppermint, which is easy enough to come by in an after-dinner candy or stick of gum, this Japanese Julep is made with shiso, which has the same cooling effect and briskness but a different kind of herbal tang. In the place of bourbon, you'll find Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt. And a shot of plum-flavored soju adds a fruit touch that makes the cold and tasty thing a little bit sweeter, a little bit more mysterious.
MAKE IT: Japanese Julep
As you sip on this delightful cocktail, think of it this way: one moment you're on the roof of your run-down apartment building, gazing out upon the city lights at dusk, the neon and all that jazz. But the next, you're on the bank of the Shirakawa, watching leaves float by in the cool breeze.
There will be a day not too far from now when you're shivering in your down jacket, cursing every snowflake and weather report, and rooftop juleps aren't an option, but a dream. But let's not worry about that for now, and sip on some mint and whiskey.