I love the Kentucky Derby. Each year, JD and I pick our horses and bet each other dinner. Whoever's horse comes in before the other is declared the winner. I usually win. Not to toot my own horn but my horses have won the last three years much to the dismay of JD's wallet. With tomorrow being Derby Day, I couldn't resist sharing a recipe for a cocktail I've been dreaming about for weeks. I love bourbon if you haven't noticed. A lot. But believe it or not, I've never made a mint julep before. Sure, I've sampled a few here and there and we've gotten pretty creative with the whiskey smash, which is basically the same thing with a bit of citrus, but never quite ventured into julep territory. I had this preconceived notion that mint juleps were tricky to make. Then again, I thought a lot of drinks were too complicated before I started making my own at home. I'm happy to say that just isn't true and the mint julep is no exception. The most complicated bit is making the mint simple syrup, which is essentially just boiling water.
You may be wondering why I decided to go with a blueberry version instead of the classic, especially since this was my first try at making one at home. To be perfectly honest, I thought adding blueberries would be fun. That and a number of recipes I came across on pinterest included blackberries and I have blueberries on hand. A blackberry version will definitely be on the agenda!
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce mint simple syrup
1 ounce crushed blueberries
In a large glass or shaker, muddle blueberries with mint simple syrup. Add bourbon. Stir. Pour over crushed ice (or regular ice if you're not feeling it, like in the above photos). Garnish with mint. Enjoy!
MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
In a small saucepan, stirring constantly, bring equal parts water and sugar with mint leaves to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an additional minute or two and let cool completely.