April in Louisville is Mint Julep Month. This is when our mint patches start to grow back from last year (seriously, plant some mint and you will have mint every spring forever), signaling that it’s almost Derby season. Woodford Reserve releases the $1000 Mint Julep recipe and corresponding silver and gold cups, Four Roses has its annual Mint Julep competition, and I get busy on Twitter defending the honor of the mint julep cocktail to all those people who have just never had a good one. Here are some of the mint julep recipes that have been sent to me recently, including the Four Roses competition winners. Enjoy!
1.5 oz. Bib & Tucker 6–Year Bourbon
.25 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
4 oz. Soda Water
6 sprigs Thyme
6 leaves Mint
Lemon twist, Mint and Thyme sprigs to garnish
Muddle Elderflower liqueur, mint, and thyme together in a mixing glass. Add Bib & Tucker 6–Year Bourbon, stir together briefly, and double strain over ice into a highball glass. Add about 4 ounces of soda water and stir briefly to combine. Garnish with a lemon twist trimmed and wrapped around nice thyme and mint sprigs to garnish.
Note: Jamboree was crowned winner in the 1894 Tennessee Derby. This win came at a time when the Tennessee derby rivaled the Kentucky Derby in terms of prestige and purse. Despite being shut down in 1906, the Tennessee Derby cements itself in the tradition of horseracing. While the Kentucky Derby is the premiere horse racing event in the United States today, the Jamboree Julep is a reimagined cocktail that celebrates these two iconic derbies.
Redemption Whiskey’s High Rye Bourbon Mint Julep
2 parts Redemption High Rye Bourbon
½ part Simple Syrup
- Rub the inside of a Julep Cup with mint leaves, coating the inside of the cup with natural oils
- Stir Redemption Whiskey and Simple Syrup in mixing glass to incorporate
- Pour into the Julep Cup
- Top and pack with crushed ice
- Garnish with Kentucky Colonel mint
- Serve with reusable or biodegradable straw
Four Roses Aztec Julep by Isaac Fox at LaChasse
A unique spin on the classic mint julep, awarded Judges’ Choice in the 2021 Rose Julep Cocktail Competition.
2½ fl oz Four Roses Small Batch
¾ fl oz Roasted Pineapple-Chipotle Syrup
½ fl oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 sprig Mint Leaves
Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters
In a mixing glass, gently muddle mint leaves with pineapple-chipotle syrup and lemon juice. Add Four Roses Small Batch and shake briefly with 1 or 2 large ice cubes. Double strain into julep cup or tiki mug filled with fresh crushed ice. Top with more crushed ice. Spritz with Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters. Garnish with large bunch of mint, basil and a fresh slice of pineapple.
HOMEMADE ROASTED PINEAPPLE-CHIPOTLE SYRUP
Peel and core 1 pineapple. Cut into chunks and roast in oven until the edges are slightly blackened. Remove from oven and place roasted pineapple chunks in large saucepan. Add 1½ cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1½ cup Chipotle powder (or to taste). Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Let cool and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
(Recipe can also be found on Four Roses‘ website)
The Zing A Ling By Colleen McCarthy At Martini Italian Bistro
A unique spin on the classic mint julep, awarded People’s Choice in the 2021 Rose Julep Cocktail Competition.
2 fl oz Four Roses Small Batch
1 fl oz Lingonberry Shrub
½ fl oz Fresh Squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
3 dashes Rhubarb Bitters
Add all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain over fresh ice. Garnish with lingonberries.
Mix 2 cups of fresh lingonberries and 1 cup simple syrup in blender on high speed until fully broken down. Pour contents into a fine mesh strainer and push through. This technique should yield a nice semi thick juice. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and whisk.
(This recipe also available on Four Roses‘ website.)
Ale-8-One Ginger Julep
1.5 oz Bourbon
Muddle mint and bourbon. Add crushed ice (Sonic sells bags of pebble ice!). Top with Ale-8.
Ale-8-One has some great party planning tips on their website right now!
Photos Courtesy of their respective brands and Maggie Kimberl