It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the Bluegrass. With Derby approaching, it’s time to start testing (and tasting) mint juleps for the big day. To make it easy, Proof on Main, Lockbox, and Garage Bar have put together playful twists on the tried and true recipe.
1.75 oz Four Roses Single Barrel
.25 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
1 oz Pineapple Vinegar
.5 oz Spiced Demerara Syrup
.5 oz Pineapple Juice
Handful of mint
Dry shake all ingredients, strain into a julep cup over pebble ice, garnish with mint and an orchid.
2 oz. Old Forester bourbon
.75 oz molasses peppermint syrup
Dry shake all ingredients, strain into a julep cup over pebble ice, garnish with mint.
Market Street Julep
.75 oz. lemongrass and mint syrup (recipe follows)
1.5 oz. Kentucky bourbon 8–10 spearmint leaves
1-inch piece lemongrass stalk, cut into pieces
2 oz. prosecco
1 drop Angostura bitters
For the lemongrass and mint syrup:
3 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
25–30 fresh spearmint leaves,
Loosely packed 1⁄2 cup Sucanat (unrefined whole cane sugar found in natural markets)
Pinch of salt
Combine Sucanat with lemongrass. Crush lemongrass into sucanat with a wooden muddler. In a large skillet, heat mixture slowly on medium- low while stirring constantly. When the sucanat begins to melt, add water one tablespoon at a time until all of the granules are just dissolved. Tear mint leaves in half and add to the mixture. Add salt and gently muddle mint leaves into the mixture. Let stand on simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding back any water that evaporates. Strain and cool to room temperature
For the cocktail:
In a mixing glass, combine syrup, bitters, and herbs. Muddle. Add bourbon and stir briefly with ice. Strain into a julep cup. Top with prosecco and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a long, vertical slice of lemongrass (submerged) and a sprig of mint. Bite soaked lemongrass stalk, sip, and enjoy.
With juleps this creative, why not try all three? ‘Tis the season.