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!Print
Orange Mint Julep
A spin on the classic Mint Julep, this cocktail uses a delicious orange-mint simple syrup and a splash of fresh orange juice.
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
- 1 oz. mint-orange simple syrup
- crushed ice
For the simple syrup
- 1/2 C. Turbinado sugar
- 1/2 C. water
- handful of mint leaves
- zest from one orange
Make the simple syrup
- 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.
Make the cocktail
- 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.
You will have enough simple syrup to make several cocktails (or use it in ice tea). It keeps well in the refrigerator for a while.