With the Kentucky Derby happening this weekend, it only seemed logical to make a Mint Julep this week. An Orange Mint Julep to be exact!A traditional Mint Julep is basically mint and bourbon, with a little sweetener, served in a metal julep cup filled with crushed ice. While the version I made today may not be all that traditional, I liked it better because it has a little more flavor going on besides overwhelmingly bourbon. And since I don’t own any mint julep glasses, you get it in a regular rocks glass today!
For the sweetener, I thought I’d try a mint-orange infused simple syrup. I used Turbinado sugar since I was out of regular white sugar. It turned out a dark caramel color and added a slightly richer, slightly molasses flavor to the syrup. I really, really liked it. It’s a delicious simple syrup and I thought it paired nicely with the bourbon.
You don’t have to only drink this Orange Mint Julep while watching the Kentucky Derby though. It makes a delicious summery cocktail! If you’re not a bourbon drinker, or looking for a non-alcoholic drink, try using the simple syrup in some ice tea, it’s good with that too!
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice (about ½ orange)
- 1 oz. mint-orange simple syrup
- crushed ice
- ½ C. Turbinado sugar
- ½ C. water
- handful of mint leaves
- zest from one orange
- Combine the syrup ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let cool, then strain into container. Store in refrigerator.
- Fill rocks glass with crushed ice.
- In cocktail shaker with some ice, combine bourbon, simple syrup and orange juice. Shake and strain into rocks glass. Garnish with mint leaves.