Start Crushing That Ice, It’s Mint Julep Season!
Forget the horses, forget the ladies in giant hats—nothing says Kentucky Derby like a mint julep. It's a perfectly balanced cocktail: Bourbon, mint, sugar, and gently melting ice, strong at first and (depending on how long it takes you to drink it) sweetly sippable by the bottom of the glass. But bourbon isn't the only spirit that can play this game: the julep is part of the family of cocktails known as smashes, where mint and crushed ice combine with any number of sweetening agents and spirits. Here are our favorite julep and smash recipes. Helen Rosner
Cynar’s vegetal bitterness, derived primarily from artichokes, pairs nicely with mint and grapefruit soda in this refreshing julep variation.
A hit of ginger liqueur takes the traditional mint julep and turns it squarely on its ear: spicy, sweet, and modern, with a citrus tang from the wedge of lemon, it’s a fresh twist on the old classic.
Antebellum Mint Julep
Before the Civil War made foreign products hard to come by in the South, French cognac was the preferred liquor in a mint julep.
This recipe takes the crushed ice classic a step further. Its minty-hued sweetness melts slowly, creating a perfect after-dinner drink. Get the recipe for Mint Julep Granita Laura Sant