April is supposed to be the cruelest month, but — depending on how hot and humid it is where you live — it may just be July. Cool off with one of these refreshing twists on the classic mint julep. The official drink of the Kentucky Derby, this cocktail demands to be enjoyed long after the race is over, especially during these hot, humid, sticky days.
First, let's take a look at the classic:
We're suckers for charts. Be sure to also check out this recipe from Camille Styles.
And now let's get to the fun part.
Spicy Southern Kitchen blends two Southern favorites that will have you wishing you could be sipping it on a lazy afternoon in a rocking chair on the front porch. Sweet tea infused with fresh mint is combined with bourbon and lemon is served over ice for cool and refreshing results.
Fashionable Hostess combines the classic flavors of a mint julep with the tangy brightness of rhubarb for a sweet, tart and herbal cocktail that’s perfect for toasting longer, brighter days. The secret ingredient is home-made rhubarb syrup. To make one cup of syrup, combine in a saucepan two cups of coarsely chopping rhubarb (about three or four stalks) and ¾ cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb breaks down completely, stirring occasionally. Bring the syrup to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-proof jar to cool. Once cool use immediately or fit with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Just Putzing Around the Kitchen took pineapples, mint and jalapeños and concocted these spicy pineapple mint juleps. She made a batch of plain simple syrup, and steeped in it raw sliced jalapeños for 30 minutes. The resulting cocktail was the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, a non-lethal level of heat and tongue-tinglingly delicious.
The Chic put blackberries to great use in this seasonal twist on the classic cocktail. It's loaded with fresh blackberries, mint, simple syrup and, of course, bourbon.
Upstate Ramblings combines ginger and mint for a refreshing cocktail. This recipe makes enough for eight drinks, but if you aren’t serving that many you can save the sugar syrup in the refrigerator for another day.
Before the Civil War made foreign products hard to come by in the South, French cognac was the preferred liquor in a mint julep, explains Saveur.
Baking Bites reminds you to use the ripest berries you can, because they are the juiciest. The berry mix is sweetened with simple syrup, then bourbon is added and the drink is topped with crushed ice. Strawberries and mint are a delicious combination no matter how you serve them, and the oaky, vanilla bourbon just adds one more (delicious) dimension to the combination!
Sweet Life adds bright, spicy mango slices topped with chili powder for what she calls the perfect South Texas twist on the classic mint julep.
Fabtastic Life cooks down fresh cranberries and purees with pomegranate juice and fresh mint. Then she tops everything with bourbon. Yum!
Bon Appétit featured this julep riff from Bobby Flay, which tastes fresh and not too sweet.
The Bojon Gourmet worked matcha into a paste with a bit of water (add it slowly otherwise the paste will clump). Then she muddled fresh mint with sugar to extract its essential oils, added a squeeze of lemon, a bunch of bourbon and the matcha mixture. Strain over ice, to make a velvety green drink that you'll absolutely love. The sugar balances the matcha's bitterness.
Creative Culinary used juicy peaches and honey to concoct this delightful take on the original.
Spache the Spatula cautions anyone whipping up these juleps to drink plenty of water while sipping these because they are s-t-r-o-n-g. It must be those bourbon-soaked cherries. Is your mouth watering?
Pizzazzerie adds lavender to the classic mint julep for results that are as gorgeous as they are delicious. We dig those royal purple striped straws, too!