The idea of a mint julep conjures a whole image in my mind that hearkens to the era of Scarlett O’ Hara. The scene features Nathan in a jaunty Panama hat with a handlebar mustache and me with ringlets and a hoop skirt…definitely a hoop skirt. The day is oppressively hot and humid and we both sit fanning ourselves and sipping on frosty mint juleps. Unfortunately, making the drink and trying it in real life burst the idyllic and somewhat disturbing image (handlebar mustache?!?!) that I naturally associated with the classic cocktail. Neither Nathan or I loved the drink and we both agreed that we prefer the tart and bright flavors of the margarita or mojito to the sweeter and bolder profile of the whiskey-based mint julep. That being said, if you like mint juleps this is great twist on the classic recipe. We made the more traditional recipe last weekend and just felt that it needed something. On our second attempt, we added blackberries to give it a hint of fruit and culinary lavender for a slightly herbal undertone. We felt these additions gave the julep a more refreshing and complex taste. Give the recipe a try and let us know what you think!
3 oz. (two shots) of rye whiskey
1.5 oz. (one shot) simple syrup
10-15 fresh leaves of mint
1 tbsp. fresh culinary lavender
1/2 cup of honey
6 large black berries
Prepare the simple by boiling half a cup of water with the honey and lavender for 5 minutes and let cool. Muddle half the mint and blackberries together and then strain(to get rid of those pesky blackberry seeds) into a mixing cup with the whiskey, simple syrup, remaining mint leaves, and some crushed ice. Shake well, pour into a glass, and enjoy!