Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Herb Julep

When Maker's Mark approached us to do a new spin on the classic Mint Julep, we couldn't refuse because we never say no to bourbon. And Maker's Mark? It is the good stuff.

The first time I made a Mint Julep - way back when in my fledgling mixology days - I did NOT use the good stuff. I used some cheap bottle of bourbon that was kicking around in the back of my liquor cabinet. The resulting drink was rubbish, and I unwisely deduced that I did not like Juleps. How silly of me! Once I schooled myself in bourbon I realized the error of my ways. 

Around this time of year, Sarah and I are always wildly eager to head to our kitchens with fresh, local produce, but Colorado can be a little slow to yield results. However, herbs are always reliably sprouting and thriving, even with our April snow. Our backyards yielded the herbal trifecta for our julep: mint (of course!), lemon balm, and thyme. Lemon balm is a close cousin of mint, but has a strong lemon aroma which adds a bright citrus note to this drink.

In the picture above, L-R, lemon balm, thyme, and mint.

Crushed ice is essential for this drink, and we crushed ours by hand using our wooden muddler. We placed cubed ice into a large shaker, and gave it quite a few good thwacks until it looked the way we wanted it.

Spring Herb Julep

Makes 1 cocktail
  • fresh mint, 5-6 leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • fresh lemon balm, 5-6 leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • fresh thyme, 1 long sprig, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 TB water
  • 2 oz Maker's Mark bourbon (or other good bourbon)
  • crushed ice 
special equipment:
  • muddler
  • julep cup (not completely essential, but alway delightful)

1. In your julep cup, add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir for a minute to let sugar fully dissolve.

2. Place the  herb sprigs into the julep cup, and muddle into the sugar water. Do it enough to release the herbal flavor, but not enough to completely brutalize the leaves.

2. Stir in the 2 ounces of Maker's Mark. Add crushed ice to fill the cup to the top. Garnish with remaining herb sprigs.


  1. I am loving this spring herb julep.. and definitely have to make it even though it's autumn and cool here in Australia!

  2. I've never tried a mint julep. They sounded so sweet. But I love herbal cocktails and have recently been trying bourbon, so I will be sure to give this a try.

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  4. Yum, is it 5 o'clock yet? Need to use up the last of the mint in my yard. Hello weekend!


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