The mint julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. When we had our Kentucky State dinner I wanted to mix things up just a little bit, so we created berry mint juleps. They were so good! The fruit takes away some of the bite of the bourbon, and makes these a very delicious drink!
Variations of the Berry Mint Julep
For our Kentucky dinner we created separate mint juleps. We had a strawberry mint julep, raspberry mint julep, and a blackberry mint julep. But you could put all three fruits into one drink, and even add some blueberries!
Blackberries are the state fruit of Kentucky, so the blackberry mint julep is very popular! But our favorite was the strawberry mint julep. The strawberry flavor gave just the right amount of sweetness!
What Kind of Mint Should I Use?
You can’t have a berry mint julep without the mint. The most common mint used is spearmint. This is the mint that you usually see at the grocery store, so it is readily available. Mint is also a great herb to plant in your garden, as it is very hardy! Just get ready, because it spreads and can take over a garden! Some gardeners recommend planting in a basket so that it doesn’t interfere with your other plants. But if you have a green thumb like me, it is nice to have at least one thing growing rapidly!
Frequently Asked Questions
While it wouldn’t be a mint julep without the bourbon, you can certainly use a different kind of alcohol. Using rum would turn this into a mojito. Vodka would work well with these ingredients also.
Replace the bourbon with ginger ale for a refreshing virgin julep.
There is a reason it is called simple syrup. Because it is so simple! Put a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water into a small pan. (I usually do 1/2 cup of each.) Turn your heat to medium and bring the water to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and cool. Simple syrup will keep in your refrigerator for 30 days.
Berry Mint Julep
- 1/4 cup berries
- 4-5 mint leaves
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 2 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- Crushed ice
- Place the berries, mint leaves, and simple syrup in a julep cup. Muddle until the fruit is broken up.
- Fill the cup halfway with crushed ice.
- Add the bourbon and stir until the glass becomes frosty.
- Top with remaining ice and garnish.