Celebrate The Kentucky Derby this year with a sweet, little twist on the iconic Mint Julep cocktail. All the same ingredients, just with a dash of honey to enhance the flavors in the Kentucky bourbon. This age-old drink can be enjoyed anytime of the year, but definitely something you should make if you’re partaking in Derby festivities.
This cocktail is no joke. If you look at the ingredients, you’ll see it’s mostly bourbon so it’s important to pick a bourbon that you enjoy. Investing in a nice bottle will reduce the bite and provide for an overall more enjoyable experience, since you’ll be tasting a lot of bourbon in this drink. And no, whiskey or rye will not work (I mean it could, but still…). Part of the reason this is considered a drink for the Kentucky Derby is because bourbon is only considered to be a “bourbon” if it is from Kentucky and Kentucky alone. You can read more about the long history of the Mint Julep here.
You’ll see the second ingredient is one you’ll have to make yourself at home. Luckily, if you read our last article on How to Make Honey Simple Syrup, then this part will be a breeze. It’s the same exact process, you’ll just add a dozen or so medium-to-large size mint leaves into your mixture and voila: you now have Honey Mint Simple Syrup. You can purchase our natural, flavorful Great Lakes Bee Company honey for this recipe here.
What also makes this drink unique is the fact that it uses crushed ice. Don’t have any? No problem. Throw any regular ice cubes you have at home in a ziplock bag, grab your meat tenderizer, and smash away. It’s best to double up on the ziplock bags in case you puncture the bag while smashing, just to avoid any water that might leak out. Just make sure you move that ice when you’re done to a bowl or container and stick it in the freezer.
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Honey Mint Simple Syrup
3-5 Mint Leaves & Sprigs
- Fill julep cup with mint leaves and muddle
- Add bourbon and your homemade Great Lakes Bee Co. honey mint simple syrup
- Top with shaved ice and stir until cold. About 30 seconds.
- Garnish with fresh sprig of mint.
If you don’t have a julep cup, that’s okay! A mule cup, whiskey glass, or collins glass will work just fine. Enjoy!