Weekend Recipe: Derby Day Mint Juleps

The Kentucky Derby doesn't reach the same level of holiday-ness in L.A. as it does in the southeast U.S., but it's still a good excuse for a gathering. This weekend is heavy on the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, but if you're looking for a break from tequila and beer, try a mint julep, made with bourbon (and sometimes rye). We snagged these three variations from Freddy Smalls, where Maker's Mark is usually used for juleps. Enjoy!

The Derby-Style Original:
2oz Bourbon
1oz simple syrup
5-8 mint leaves (slapped or gently bruised, never muddled)
Crushed Ice
1 Mint Sprig
Assemble in julep cup (old-fashioned glass will do in a pinch) bourbon, simple syrup, and mint. Add ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

Sip slowly, all afternoon

The Blackberry Julep:
2oz Bourbon
1oz simple syrup
4 ripe blackberries
5-8 mint leaves (slapped or gently bruised, never muddled)
Crushed Ice
1 mint sprig and a blackberry

Muddle blackberries in julep cup. Add bourbon, simple syrup, mint and some ice. Stir quickly to combine. Top with ice. Add mint sprig and top with black berry.

The Maple Julep:
2oz Bourbon or Rye
3/4oz maple syrup
1/4oz all-spice liqueur
5-8 mint leaves (slapped or gently bruised, never muddled)
Crushed Ice
1 Mint Sprig and a cinnamon stick

Combine bourbon or rye, maple syrup, all-spice liqueur, mint and some ice in julep cup. Stir to combine. Top with ice. Garnish with mint sprig and grate cinnamon stick over top.

[Photo by Flickr user thp365]



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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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