Blackberry Mint Juleps
Here in Kentucky, mint juleps are a classic for derby time. I've honestly never been the biggest fan of them, so I set out to create one that I liked. Blackberries lend some tart sweetness to the mix that help punch the flavor up a bit, and I really liked the outcome!
I've recently learned how to turn wood on a lathe, so this recipe testing was the perfect excuse to use my new hobby to make a muddler out of a chunk of scrap exotic wood!
What's a cocktail without snacks?! I served these with goat cheese and feta stuffed olives, shrimp cocktail and cream cheese with pepper jelly on crispy herb crostini.
BLACKBERRY MINT JULEPS
Makes Four Cocktails
- Fresh mint leaves
- 2 - 6 ounce containers of blackberries
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 8 oz bourbon
- One lemon + lemon peel for garnish
- Crushed or shaved ice
WHAT TO DO:
- Start off by putting the blackberries (reserve a few for garnishing) in a bowl and sprinkling the sugar on top. Stir together and let sit for 20-30 minutes. This will draw moisture out of the berries and leave you with a yummy syrup to flavor your cocktail with.
- Use your muddler to mash the berries. Here you can choose to pour your mixture through a fine mesh strainer to get a smooth syrup, but I'm okay with the seeds and texture of the berries so I skipped that step.
- Place a few mint leaves and squeeze of lemon juice in either 4 julep cups or old fashioned glasses. Add a few spoonfuls of the blackberry syrup and gently muddle. You never want to over-muddle or tear mint leaves or they will become bitter.
- Add 2 ounces of bourbon to each glass.
- Give it a little stir and add ice.
- Garnish with sprigs of mint leaves, curls of lemon peel and a few blackberries
- Sip and enjoy!
- If you like a sweeter cocktail, simply add more sugar in step 1
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