The Mint Julep…. the official drink of the Kentucky Derby! Anyone who is into horse racing will be familiar with this drink. On average over 120,000 mint juleps are served each year at the running of the Kentucky Derby.
Growing up on a Thoroughbred horse farm in Michigan for years my parents would head down to Kentucky each May to watch the Kentucky Derby and enjoy the traditional Mint Juleps. As the years went on the Mint Julep became a staple at our family gathers, BBQ’s and dinners. Although my parent’s would enjoy this drink they called delicious, I usually passed over having one and opted for a different drink. Why? I am not a big fan of mint. I know, I know! How can I not like mint?? Mint is one of those flavors that no matter how much I try to like it — I just don’t! So drinking an entire Mint Julep was just out of the question for me.
So I am sure you’re wondering, if I do not like mint how in the world did I end posting about a Raspberry Mint Julep? Well, a few months ago while Mark and I were at Mom & Dad’s having dinner they were all enjoying their juleps and I was feeling left out. Looking around my Mom’s kitchen I noticed she had some strawberries sitting there for us to snack on. My mind began to wander – Strawberries and bourbon? It should work, right? So, I walked over and made myself a custom “mint” julep but instead of using mint I replaced he mint leaves with strawberries. Winner, winner chicken dinner!!! The drink was amazing and I loved it!!!
Since then I have used peaches and raspberries in place of the mint leaves in my juleps — the raspberries being my favorite “substitution” to use. Mark loves the traditional mint flavored juleps; however, every once in a while he wants to add a little spice to his so I will add the fruit in addition to the mint leaves (like the recipe below does) so he then gets the best of both worlds.
I know that adding fruit to the julep is far from tradition but for those who would love to add a little twist to a traditional drink, or for those who do not like mint, give it a try — I promise you’ll love it!!
Raspberry Mint Juleps
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Handful of fresh Raspberries
3-5 Fresh Mint Leaves
1/2 Ounce Simple Syrup
2 1/2 Ounces Bourbon
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
In a large cocktail glass add a small to medium sized handful of fresh raspberries along with the sugar and the mint leaves. Muddle the mixture together.
Add the simple syrup and the bourdon and stir to combine. Add the ice and enjoy!
Note: to make simple syrup just add equal parts sugar and water into a small sauce pan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Cool the mixture down and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Source: Meghan’s Original