It’s that magical time of the year where you have a weekend full of reasons to make bad decisions. Place your bets! And let’s make some drinks!
This post was made in partnership with TruviaÂ®. Recipes and ideas are my own.
As much as we needed the rain here in Southern California, with this drought that’s been going on for years, I must say I am SO happy to see blue skies and warmer temps. I’m getting all the tropical feels now, everything is green, and racing season is just around the corner.
I will take any excuse to wear one of my many oversized hats, and it’s even better when cocktails are involved. The Mint Julep is the traditional drink in Kentucky, and I know that some people have very strong opinions about the drink in its purest form… but I am not one of those people. While a Mint Julep is refreshing on a hot day out in the sun, I wanted to give my race day drink a little tropical twist.
Together with TruviaÂ® I’m taking the traditional Mint Julep and sweetening it with a rich, toasted coconut syrup made with Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, which has a deep, rich caramel flavor you expect from brown sugar with 75% fewer calories per serving than brown sugar. The flavor of the Brown Sugar Blend intensifies the caramel-y flavors of the bourbon and the spicy notes of the rum. The toasted coconut gives a wonderfully nutty and fragrant aroma to the syrup that works really well with the mint, transporting you to a lush tropical locale, no matter where you’re sipping it.
If you’re hosting a racing party, these drinks are easily batch-able too! I’ve included a note in the recipe if you’d like to serve up multiple of these cocktails.
Tropical Toasted Coconut Mint Julep
10 mint leaves
2 ounces bourbon
1/4 ounce Toasted Coconut Syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 ounce aged rum
mint, toasted coconut flakes, pineapples for garnish
In the bottom of a julep cup (or Collins glass), muddle the mint leaves with the syrup. Pack the glass with crushed ice and pour in bourbon. Drizzle rum on top and garnish with mint leaves, toasted coconut flakes and a pineapple spear. Giant hat or seersucker suit optional.
Toasted Coconut Syrup
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
3/4 cup Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 cup water
- Preheat your oven to 325Â°F. Spread coconut out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing the coconut every few minutes or so, for 5-10 minutes. Coconut should be golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and water. Bring to just a boil, whisking constantly to dissolve sugar, and then turn heat down to a simmer. Add 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut (the other 1/2 cup will be reserved as a garnish for drinks). Whisk to combine everything and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until room temperature. Strain out coconut (I use a nut bag for this) into an airtight container. Use immediately or refrigerate. Will keep up to one month.
To batch this recipe: Add 1/4 cup packed mint leaves in the bottom of a pitcher. Muddle with a 1/2 cup of Toasted Coconut Syrup and then add in 2 cups bourbon. Stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. When ready to serve, pack 8 julep cups with crushed ice, fill with mixture and garnish with mint and toasted coconut flakes. Optionally drizzle 1/4 ounce of aged rum over the ice.
ThisÂ post is brought to you byÂ El Mayor Tequila. Recipe and ideas are my own.
This weekend we’ve got a double dose of reasons to celebrate. Saturday marks the 144th Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo, both happening on the same day. No need for a sad case of FOMO, we’ve got a drink that celebrates both: the Tequila Mint Julep.
Not long ago a Mint Julep was a Mint Julep: bourbon, mint, sugar, silver cup. Bam. But as bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts have brought an inquisitive eye to old recipes, here today we’re riffing on this classic with our partner, El Mayor Tequila.
El Mayor AÃ±ejo Tequila is fantastic sipped on its own, but the tequila also mixes quite well in cocktails. Especially when the spirit needs to be strong and shine through a whole lot of crushed ice! The 100% blue agave aÃ±ejo is aged in white oak barrels for 18 to 36 months, giving it the distinctive oak-y nose, golden color and slightly sweet and spicy flavor profile. If you’re going to use a tequila in a julep recipe, this is the one.
For this recipe I forgo the muddled mint (*gasp*) and instead opt for a creme de menthe liqueur to add the minty flavor and a touch of sweet. I like the bracingly cool mint liqueur up against the tequila. Also, if you’re serving this up at your party it’s going to save you some time since you won’t have to muddle all those mint leaves. To round out the drink, I’ve added in a few dashes of aromatic bitters and a touch more sweetness with some demerara syrup. The drink needs that last touch of sugar to balance it out along with the bitters.
Lastly, I gave this julep a crown of mint (I couldn’t leave the fresh mint out completely), like its own little laurel wreath. And you don’t have to make it rain powdered sugar on your julep for a garnish, but it sure does look pretty.
So, let’s jump start this Cinco de Derby party and mix up a batch of Tequila Juleps. It’s a sure bet!
The Tequila Mint Julep
2 ouncesÂ El Mayor AÃ±ejo Tequila
1/2 ounce creme de menthe
1/4 ounce demerara syrup (see notes below)
3 dashes aromatic bitters
mint and powdered sugar
In a silver julep cup, or double rocks glasses, pour inÂ El Mayor AÃ±ejo Tequila, creme de menthe,Â demerara syrup, and bitters. Fill glass halfway with crushed ice and swizzle until glass is frosty, about 20-30 seconds. Fill with more crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint and powdered sugar. Add a short straw if you’d like!
- To makeÂ demerara syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cupÂ demerara sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to just under a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. When all the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. Store in an air tight container, refrigerated, for up to one month.
- Julep cups come in all different sizes but choose one around 12 ounces for this cocktail. A double rocks glass will make an acceptable substitute.
For more information on El Mayor Tequila and their entire product line, please visit them atÂ elmayor.com!
Giddy-up! Â¡OlÃ©! It’s a Cinco de Derby Cocktail Party brought to you by Master of Mixes!
PlaceÂ your bets! Does your trifecta include Blood Orange Margaritas? Minty Mint Juleps? Three Sheets to the Wind? (I’m definitely putting all my money down on those three)
When Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall on the same day, everyone’s lucky. So, it’s time to throw a party of dueling cocktails! Mix up a giant punch bowl of Master of Mixes Blood Orange Margaritas, or make some ice cold batches of super minty Mint Juleps with a little help from Master of Mixes Mint Syrup (with extra mint garnishes please!). Stir it up with a pony or two, and tip back a festive cup to drink them all out of. And if you’re headed to the races later, slip a little into your lucky flask.
1. Party Banner 2. Cactus Cups 3. Tassel Napkins 4. Pony Cocktail Pick 5. Master of Mixes Blood Orange Margarita Mix 6. Master of Mixes Mint Syrup 7. Silver Punch Bowl 8. Opera Glasses 9. Horseshoe Flask
If you’d like to learn more about Master of Mixes and their naturally flavored, delicious mixers (and take a peek at their over 45! different flavors), please visit them at MixologyPro.com!
One week from tomorrow it’s OK to carry around a riding crop and wear a helmut in public. Be prepared. Get bourbon.
1. Feeling giddy napkin 2. Grow your own mint plants 3. Triple Crown NapkinsÂ 4. Gold Horse DrinkÂ StirrersÂ 5. Maker’s Mark BourbonÂ American Pharoah Commemorative Bottle (available May 1st!)Â 6. Mint Julep Simple SyrupÂ 7. Commerical Ice CrusherÂ 8.Â Silver Vintage Punch Bowl