Last year my friend Amy took us to the race tracks in Berkeley for Dollar Sunday. It was my first time to horse races but Amy grew up near the Kentucky state lines and the Derby is a THING there.
So is Kentucky Bourbon and a cocktail called a Mint Julep. I found this $14 bottle of Kentucky Bourbon from Trader Joes and wanted to find easy yet tasty cocktails to make with it.
My Bishop’s Mint Julep takes the classic recipe and twists it a bit for something new and super yummy (even non-bourbon drinkers will like this one!) Keep reading for the recipe.
Bishop’s Mint Julep Recipe (With Mint Simple Syrup!)
I love drinking bourbon straight but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a bit with a simple cocktail. A Mint Julep is the official drink of Churchill Downs.
A classic Mint Julep recipe requires muddled mint in the bottom of a Derby glass and then bourbon poured over. For my recipe, we’re making mint simple syrup instead for a flavorful twist on the classic derby favorite.
Mint simple syrup is easy – you just add some mint leaves to the pan while cooking the syrup.
We ALWAYS make our own simple syrup. It’s literally just mixing equal parts sugar and water on the stovetop until it dissolves together. We make big batches and store it in the fridge for future happy hours.
We don’t have official Derby or Mint Julep glasses but if you have them, now is the time to use them! No matter what glass shape you have, here’s my tip: put it in the freezer to chill it before serving up your cocktail! You can thank me later.
PS: this bourbon from Trader Joes is pretty good for a $14 bourbon. BUT, this cocktail will be even better with a smoother bourbon if you have it.
Fair warning: this cocktail is STRONG but doesn’t exactly taste strong. Aka, it’ll hit your head hard and fast if you don’t pace yourselves. *Speaking from experience*
Here’s the recipe card.
- 2.5 oz Kentucky Bourbon
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 7-9 mint leaves
- 1 oz. mint simple syrup
Mint Simple Syrup
First, make the simple syrup. We always make a big batch and keep some in our fridge for cocktails.
- Mix sugar with water in a stovetop pan
- Add in the mint leaves
- Heat until the sugar dissolved then turn the heat down low and simmer for 5 minutes (this lets the mint flavors out!)
- Remove & let cool before using in the cocktail
Making The Cocktail
- Mix bourbon and 1 oz. mint simple syrup to a glass
- Add an ice cube
- Top with a fresh mint leaf
That's it! So quick and tasty.
Sip this one slow - I can personally attest that this cocktail sneaks up on your quickly.
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