The mint julep is the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. The classic version combines bourbon, mint, sugar, and water, and is served over heaps of crushed ice in a signature silver or pewter cup. It is a drink to be savored on the first Saturday in May, while the thoroughbreds make their way down the Churchill Downs’ backstretch. (DYK nearly 120,000 mint juleps are sold every year at the Kentucky Debry?)
But we have a confession to make: we don't really care for mint juleps. Too often they're overly sweet and just one flavor note — mint. Especially if you're using a syrup mixer, the minty sweetness can overpower the bourbon and make it hard to enjoy more than one julep.
Though originally from Cleveland, Jason attended undergrad and law school at the University of Kentucky and now lives in Northern Kentucky. Naturally, he’s adopted a passion for all the Kentucky birthrights: bourbon and horseracing (and basketball).
Not wanting to be left out on Derby Day, we sought to create our own not-too-sweet version of this elixir. Fortunately, the answer was already in our Floral Collection: Elderflower Lemon Mint Mixicles. The flavors in this cube combine to create a perfectly balanced mint julep . . . or two . . . or three.
Most important of all, remember that old Kentucky proverb as you sip your julep this Derby Day: "Keep your friends close, and your bourbon closer." (Much closer, in some cases.)
Elderflower Mint Julep
- 2 Elderflower Lemon Mint Mixicles® cubes
- 2 ounces bourbon
- Mint for garnish
Champagne or elderflower lemonade (optional)
For the simplest version of this drink, put the Mixicles® cubes in a julep cup, top with the bourbon, and garnish with fresh mint. To take it up a notch, muddle the cubes before adding the bourbon, and top with crushed ice. If you want to go fancy, lace with Champagne or elderflower lemonade. Now head to the winner's circle!