It’s possible the only time you ever enjoy a good Julep is one day a year during the Kentucky Derby. If that’s true, then you’re just not getting the most out of one of the great classic cocktails from the early days of American mixology. In his book, The Bon Vivant’s Companion, Jerry Thomas calls the Julep “a peculiarly American beverage.” And it has since engrained itself as a favorite of the American South. Designed to be sipped slowly over a long period of time, a Julep’s bed of crushed ice melts into the drink cutting the strength of the heavy pour of alcohol. It’s perfect for warm weather drinking—but it’s even better when you add sweet, juicy fruits like strawberries.
For our Strawberry Julep we use a strawberry syrup. That means that you will need to do a little advanced planning since the syrup needs to infuse for 24 hours. But believe us when we say it is the best way to get a fruity flavor into the cocktail. And while nothing can quite compare to the feel of an icy, metal julep cup in your hand, you don’t need to go buy any new gear to enjoy one of these. A rocks glass will work just fine. While this Strawberry Julep might not replace the minty classic on Derby Day, you’ll surely be grateful for it on a hot summer day.
- Add strawberry syrup and mint leaves to a chilled julep cup (or rocks glass) and muddle.
- Fill the cup halfway with crushed ice.
- Add bourbon.
- Top with more crushed ice
- Garnish with a split strawberry and mint sprig.
- Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not boil.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Do not remove the strawberries.
- Infuse for 24 hours.
- Strain out the strawberries using a colander or fine sieve.
- Bottle and refrigerate syrup until using.
Born on the Sunset Strip at the illustrious Vendome Club—a celebrity haven and it bar in the ‘30s—the Brown Derby cocktail is all sour, glitz and bourbon. Named for a since-vanished neighboring restaurant that was shaped like a derby hat, the drink is an edgy riff on a Daiquiri, with bourbon as the base, fresh grapefruit juice and a honey syr...