When planning which straw hat and springtime outfit you’re going to don for the races this weekend, don’t forget to set up a cocktail menu for your guests to choose from that will complement your theme! Here are a few great drink recipes from our friends at Cocktails 365.
Traditional Mint Julep
- 2 1/2 oz bourbon
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- 7 to 8 mint sprigs
- Crushed ice
Add mint to bottom of a rocks glass. Or, if you happen to have one on hand, a traditional silver Mint Julep Cup. Add simple syrup and gently muddle mint into syrup. Rub around the edges of the glass. The goal here is to infuse the syrup with the mint’s oils. Discard the extra mint, leaving only the simple syrup infused with mint. Fill the glass halfway with crushed ice, then top with your bourbon.
Swirl gently, not stirring. This will get the syrup off the sides of your glass and get the oils mixed in.
Add more crushed ice on top until mound forms. Drizzle the top with a little bit more simple syrup, then garnish with a mint sprig.
Man o’ War
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- .75 oz mineral water
- 10-15 large fresh mint leaves
Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig. If you couldn’t tell already, the taste is very similar to the Mint Julep. The preparation is a bit different, and there’s no simple syrup and there’s the addition of water. This creates a lighter version of the Mint Julep. The sugar and mint notes aren’t nearly as pronounced.
- 1 oz E&J brandy
- 2 oz fresh brewed black tea (chilled)
- 1/2 oz lavender syrup
- 3 mint leaves
- 3 pieces sliced ginger
- Extra mint leaf for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, add ginger, mint and simple syrup and muddle. Pour the brandy and fresh tea over top and muddle a little more. Strain into an ice filled glass. Garnish with a mint leaf.
- 2.5 oz. bourbon
- 3 sprigs of mint (six to eight mature-sized leaves)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
In a traditional silver julep cup or double-old fashioned glass, muddle two sprigs of mint with the brown sugar and one ounce of bourbon for a few minutes, crushing the mint leaves with a spoon. Add the crushed ice, the remaining bourbon, and garnish with sprig of mint.
- 3 oz mint-infused bourbon
- 3 springs of mint
- .5 oz mint syrup
- Full cup shaved ice
Muddle the mint with the mint-infused bourbon and the mint syrup. Fill to the top with the ice and swirl. As you would imagine, this creats an incredibly minty julep. It’s very refreshing on hot, humid days.
Whiskey isn’t your thing? Here’s a couple good choices for your Derby Day celebrations.
- 2 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
- 1 1/4 oz St Germain
- 1/4 of a lime cut into 3 pieces
- 6 medium sized (about 2″ in length) mint leaves.
Place all ingredients in mixing tin with ice and muddle until slushy. Pour into a chilled Collins glass. Top with ice, then top with 2 oz soda water. Stir gently.
French Gimlet No. 2
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz St. Germain
- 1 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and serve with a lime wedge garnish.
Mark Vierthaler is the Editor in Chief for Cocktails365.net. He’s a former print journalist, former managing editor, and current newspaper booze columnist. He can be contacted at [email protected]ler.com.