Just because you don’t plan to make a cameo to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, doesn’t mean that you can’t join in on all the festivities. The Kentucky Derby is a southern affair, and wouldn’t be complete without some nice southern cocktails.
One of the most classic, iconic cocktails to sip on during the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep. The classic mint Julep is a delicious and refreshing concoction of bourbon, simple syrup, fresh mint, and crushed ice.
Now, one thing that really makes a mint julep, a mint julep is the insane amount of crushed ice packed tightly and piled high, resembling a snow cone. If you don’t have crushed ice or a crushed ice maker, do not fret. Almost everyone has a blender of some sort….our Ninja did the trick just perfectly.
Just load the ice into the blender, and with a few pulses, you will have perfectly crushed ice. Be careful though not to over pulse, or you will end up with snow. And while snow is fun and all, we don’t particularly want it in our cocktails.
Even though the races at the derby only last for a whopping 2 minutes, derby parties usually last all afternoon, and sometimes go straight into the evening. For this reason, the Mint Julep should be loaded with lots of crushed ice, ensuring that your cocktails won’t be too strong, allowing you to sip in style throughout your shindig.
Now, us gals aren’t really into Bourbon, but we always find ourselves giving into tradition, and knew that the Mint Julep was a classic that we couldn’t pass up. So, we decided to amp up our juleps and add in some smashed blackberry. When muddled with the mint and simple syrup, it really did the trick, and masked a bit of that bourbon taste. We also decided to nix the sugar for the simple syrup and used agave instead.
Another tip is to use a high quality Bourbon. We chose to use Bulleit Bourbon. Only ingredients of the very highest quality are used in Bulleit. It was surprisingly clean and smooth.
After mixing up all the ingredients, the last step before you get to sip & enjoy these amped up classic beauties, is to top with tons more crushed ice, top with a blackberry, and garnish with mint.
These Blackberry Mint Juleps are sure to amp up any race!
Blackberry Mint Juleps
- 2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup raw blue agave
- 2 mint sprigs
- crushed ice
Start by making a simple syrup. Bring water, agave, and a few mint leaves to a boil. Set aside and let cool.
Muddle mint and 2-3 blackberries with 1/2 ounce simple syrup mixture at the bottom of a mint julep cup.
Add 2 ounces bourbon and a spoonful of crushed ice and mix with a stirrer until cold.
Fill the cup with crushed ice and pack tightly. Be sure to let the ice pack tall past the lip of the cup resembling a snow cone.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and a couple blackberries.