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My Take On The Mint Julep


It’s Monday, but is it Friday or still the weekend? You know how you wake from a deep sleep and feel disoriented and even “wait, where I am, what day is it, omgosh did I oversleep?” Yes, this was me upon waking and I feel like I have been in a fog ever since. And, how is it almost 4:00 pm AND I still feel like I have not gotten much accomplished! Maybe one of the reasons I have felt this way is because I was too busy sipping craft cocktails in an effort to whip up this beauty for this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. I know, it’s a hard job but someone has to do it. Today, I am sharing my take on the infamous Mint Julep, and why I think it will win you over!

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of the drink BUT I wanted to give it another try. My last experience with trying a Mint Julep left a bad taste in my mouth, LITERALLY. This is what happens when you try to be a bartender…and, no, it was not me. Plus, the whole muddling of the mint – ick – and extra sugar & calories from the simple syrup was just another huge turn off too.

BUT, as I said, I wanted another go of it, so I did a little research and gave it a whirl.

First, and foremost, the BOURBON! I don’t really go by the rule of “if you are mixing a cocktail, don’t worry about the quality of the booze.” Sorry – not me! I don’t care if it is on the rocks, or mixed in a cocktail, it has to be GOOD QUALITY!

Speaking of bourbon, my research just led me to find out that “Woodford Reserve” is the OFFICIAL bourbon of the Derby. Pretty cool, huh? And, if you already knew this fun fact, please humor me!

The first thing I did was google recipes for HEALTHY syrups. Since I am not a fan of “muddled” mint, I wanted to find one that included mint but not leaves in the bottom of my glass. I found one from the fabulous Fed & Fit which substituted white sugar for coconut sugar, and included 1/4 cup of packed mint.

Heads up! Coconut sugar is a light brown so this syrup is very dark which is going to lead to a darker cocktail!

If you really want to add a little pizazz, through in a large, square smoked ice cube. That’s right, if you have a smoker you can easily smoke your own ice cubes. If not, I get it – hey, I was given by a client – and crushed ice works beautifully.

Needless to say, this was, definitely, a MUCH better experience than my last one, but make sure to add the water (and stir). It will cut the booziness down a bit, and the bourbon will not be sitting on the top! Well, if you prefer it that way than I guess don’t do a while lot of stirring – LOL.


One more thing! If you are like me, and prefer a less sweet drink, cut the simple syrup in half, keep same amount of bourbon, and add a little extra water. You may need to play around with this a bit to find the perfect balance for you!

Hope you enjoy, and here’s to starting off Monday getting pumped for the weekend! Be safe, drink responsibly, and I hope you find this Mint Julep to be the best you ever had! Remember, I promised it would win you over!