Derby Day is just around the corner (that would be this Saturday, folks) and with it comes the [2nd] most wonderful time of the year, Mint Julep season! {shimmy shimmy, twist and twirl}

Mint Julep Mania | SET on Life

The Mint Julep as we know it today became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. It contains a perfect blend of bourbon, simple syrup and mint to create a refreshing warm-weather cocktail. One of the things I most love about this drink is that it’s so simple! Only 3 key ingredients (okay, and ice) and a million ways to vary from the classic to create whatever you’re feeling at that moment.

Today, I’d like to share 3 Mint Julep recipes I’ll be sipping on from now through summer. If you have a favorite mint julep recipe, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new ways to mix them up. First up, the classic –


 

Classic Mint Julep | SET on Life

 

Classic Mint Julep – Rule to remember here is 4 parts bourbon to 1 part simple syrup. Whether you’re making a big batch or one glass, this rule works.

Ingredients (makes 1 glass):

    • 4 oz. Bourbon of choice (I used one of our favorites, Small Batch Bullet Rye, but Woodford Reserve is quite popular at the Derby – up to you!)
    • 1 oz. Simple Syrup – equal parts water and sugar to boil until blended and water is clear
    • Handful of Mint Leaves
    • Ice

Directions:

    1. If you don’t have handy, make the simple syrup by bringing equal parts water and sugar (ex. 1 cup of each) to a boil and let simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved and water is clear. Let cool.
    2. Fill a shaker halfway with ice, add almost all the mint leaves, ripping them up as you add them.
    3. Add the simple syrup and bourbon to the shaker and shake, shake, shake
    4. Add ice to a short glass (Bonus point for silver julep cup!) and pour mint julep in from shaker. Garnish with more mint. Sigh. Heaven.
 

 

Sparkling Raspberry Mint Julep | SET on Life

 

Sparkling Raspberry Mint Julep – I’m a big raspberry fan and often have these on hand, unlike some other ingredients. Start with your Classic ingredients and add raspberries & Prosecco for a fun twist!

Ingredients (makes 1 glass):

    • 4 oz.  Bourbon of choice
    • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
    • 1/2 cup of Raspberries
    • Prosecco or Other Sparkling Wine
    • Mint Leaves

Directions:

    1. If you don’t have handy, make the simple syrup by bringing equal parts water and sugar to a boil and let simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved and water is clear. Let cool.
    2. Add the simple syrup, mint leaves (ripped up) and all but a few raspberries to a shaker and muddle.
    3. Fill shaker halfway with ice, add the bourbon andddd shake, shake, shake (hmm, doesn’t really get old …)
    4. Add ice to a short glass and strain the shaker mixture into the glass. Don’t fill to the top.
    5. Pop your Prosecco and top off that cocktail! Using a stirrer, mix together.
    6. Garnish with mint and raspberries. Ta-da!
 

 


 

Mint Julep Sangria | SET on Life

 

Mint Julep Sangria – This is what I recommend for those of you that may not yet be on the bourbon train. Much sweeter than a traditional mint julep, this sangria is sweet and fruity with just a slight bourbon taste. I found and adapted this recipe to make 2 glasses instead of the pitcher, as the original recipe instructs.

 

Ingredients (makes 2 glasses):

    • 1/4 cup Bourbon of choice
    • 1/2 cup Pineapple juice (bonus points for freshly squeezed! it works both ways, but fresh is an added treat)
    • 1/2 cup Mint Simple Syrup
    • 6 oz. light white wine
    • Mint Leaves and fresh Pineapple wedges for garnish

Directions:

    1. Make the mint simple syrup by adding a handful of mint leaves, equal parts water and sugar to a pot and boil. Let simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved and water is clear. Let cool.
    2. Fill a glass with ice. Pour the bourbon, pineapple juice, simple syrup and white wine. Stir together.
    3. Add mint and a pineapple wedge for garnish. Bravo!
 

adapted from a farmgirl’s dabbles recipe


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