The Mint Julep. It reminds me of my favorite things about the South. Southern accents, big hats, gorgeous live oaks, rocking chairs in the summer, and so much more. While the Mint Julep is now the drink of the derby, in the early 1780s, like most cocktails, it was used for medicinal purposes with stomach pains. Though it was never specified what spirit was used when the Mint Julep started making it’s way through the south we do know one thing, and it might surprise you. Once it’s popularity grew into the 1900s juleps were not only enjoyed with bourbon but with gin!
Don’t worry I won’t be making this Julep with gin.
Not long after it’s growth into the nineteenth century did this cocktail become listed as a classic. Eventually becoming the drink of Churchill Downs. Which serves out 120K+ Mint Juleps and even a special Woodford Reserve Mint Julep just for the Kentucky Derby valuing at $1,000 for one. It does come in a gold cup if that helps. For me personally I think I’ll take my homemade Mint Juleps made while listening to this song by the Punch Brothers.
For this easy Mint Julep recipe I wanted to give the classic a flavor boost because, well you know that’s just what I love to do. With refreshing orange juice squeezed straight from an orange slice, to muddled blackberries this Mint Julep is begging to be sipped in the sunshine. If there is a cool breeze and the summer sun, I’ll be sipping one of these on our back porch.
**I have rather large low balls (calm the giggles) so Juleps fit better in them than my highballs. However, I would suggest making them in your highball glass.
**Straining a Mint Julep will probably get me some head shakes. It’s not necessary, it’s not part of making the cocktail. It’s a personal preference when it comes to how I like my drink. If you don’t like bits of leaves floating around, by all means, strain it.
- 2 ounces Bourbon
- 2 teaspoons Water
- 1 teaspoons Powdered Sugar
- 4 Mint Leaves (+ more for garnish)
- 4 Blackberries
- 1 slice Oranges (+ more for garnish)
- Crushed Ice To Fill
In the bottom of a highball glass/or Mint Julep glass add in your mint, blackberries, water, and powdered sugar.
Muddle your ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the glass with crushed ice to the top.
Pour in your bourbon and squeeze your orange slice. Stir to chill and serve with a sprig of mint and orange slice.
Optional: I prefer to strain my mint juleps with a Hawthorne strainer into a separate glass prior to adding ice and bourbon. I'm not big on blackberry seeds and mint hanging in my drink. Feel free to do this or leave it as is.
What cocktails do you enjoy sipping in the sun? Let me know down below and I may put a spin on it soon!