Mint Julep Variation
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Dane Feldman

By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday here on Dish + Drink! Yes, yes, I do like to embrace the clichéd tradition of Thirsty Thursday and no, no I am not still in college (YOLO!). Anyway, I must admit to the fact that I have not before attempted to make my own mint juleps. They’ve been on my mind since I missed out on drinking them this past Kentucky Derby/Unofficial National Mint Julep Day, so I finally tackled the classic wonder.

What you’ll need:
3 oz bourbon
Ice
3-4 fresh mint sprigs
Splenda
1 tsp brown sugar or 2 oz simple syrup
2-3 oz seltzer/club soda

Directions:
First, you’ll need to thoroughly rinse the mint sprigs and lay them out on a paper towel to dry. While the mint is drying, fill an 8 oz. glass with ice and prepare the rest of your ingredients. Once the mint is dry, remove the ice from the glass and put all but one of the mint sprigs in the bottom. Pour in either the simple syrup or brown sugar and lightly muddle the mint. Then, drop a couple of ice cubes in and top with bourbon and club soda. Adding in Splenda is optional, but I prefer it. Stir to mix and top with the final mint sprig as a garnish.

I used fresh mint straight from my garden and clipped it immediately before making the cocktail. Of course, fresh mint from your local market is perfectly acceptable, but it won’t be quite as fresh.

What I really like about this recipe is that the club soda softens how potent bourbon and mint can be without bogging down the drink. I also added a bit of Rose’s lime juice as an afterthought, but I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re trying to stay close to the quintessential mint julep.

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