The traditional Derby Day cocktail, and a southern ritual crafted from bourbon, simple syrup and mint with crushed ice. Could be simpler… and some would say is as perfect as perfect can be. So why am I messing with perfection? Cause it’s what I do. Take classic cocktails and reinvasion them in unique ways. The Julep isn’t in Cocktail Chameleon, but we do have a julep inspired sangria – The Southern Sangria (check it out below)
The Frosted Julep is a frozen version of a Classic Mint Julep, which is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. Classic Mint Juleps are enjoyed over crushed ice, which is not easy to come by. This recipe creates a similar icy consistency without the hassle. The mint syrup imparts a strong mint flavor the classic can sometimes lack. The addition of brandy is a nod to President Teddy Roosevelt, who enjoyed Mint Juleps on the White House lawn served in these distinctive glass cups that resemble the pewter mugs of Churchill Downs tradition.
Teddy Roosevelt "1904" Mint Julep Cups
12 oz., serves 2
- 3 mint leaves, finely chopped
For the Mint Syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup mint leaves, lightly packed
For the Frosted Julep:
- 1 oz. mint syrup
- 3 oz. Kentucky bourbon
- 1 oz. brandy
- 1-2 cups ice ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
For the Mint Syrup:
Stir together water, sugar, and mint leaves in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a steady boil. Boil, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved (about 1-2 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain syrup to remove mint and press mint leaves against strainer using the back of a spoon to release oils and excess syrup. Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate until syrup is chilled (about 1 hour).
For the Julep:
Combine mint syrup, bourbon, brandy, water, and mint leaves to a metal 9” x 9” baking dish. Freeze 6-8 hours. Scrape the frozen mixture in different directions with a fork. To serve, spoon 6 oz. of Frosted Julep into 2 Julep Cups and garnish with a chopped mint.
If the Mint Julep and the Manhattan had a lovechild, it would be the LOUISVILLE… My Julep-style riff on the Manhattan uses a semi-dry white vermouth, a slightly sweet herbal fortified wine, in place of the traditional red vermouth. The dashes of mint bitters reference another legendary Southern classic bourbon-based cocktail, the Mint Julep. Barrel-aged bourbon is the pride of Kentucky, whose residents often claim its invention.
Chateau Baccarat Tumbler
- 2 oz. Kentucky Bourbon
- 1 oz. Bianco Vermouth (semi-dry white vermouth)
- 2 - 3 dashes Fee Brothers Mint Bitters
spring of mint
Place a single king ice cube in the glass and add all the ingredients, stirring until well chilled. Garnish with a spring of mint
To some Southerners, the julep is almost sacred, but here it’s infused with
another point of Southern pride: peaches. Topped off with Champagne, the delicious result is a sparkling cocktail that transcends its inspiration to become a new classic.
Eight 9-oz. footed tumbler
40 oz., serves 8
- 1/2 c. mint leaves
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. chopped peaches
- 8 oz. Kentucky bourbon
- 1 bottle (750 ml) chilled Champagne
8 mint sprigs
In the pitcher, muddle the mint and sugar with the spoon to bruise the mint and release its aromatic oils. Add the peaches and bourbon, stirring to combine, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Prior to serving, gently stir Champagne into the pitcher. Fill the glasses with ice and evenly divide the sangria with fruit among them. Garnish each with a mint sprig.