be merry: grapefruit mint julep for easter brunch
Is there a drink more steeped in American history than the mint julep? Believed to have orginiated in the South in the 18th century, it is a drink traditionally made with bourbon, sugar, water, and of course, mint. The mint julep is well-known as the official beverage of the Kentucky Derby.
If you’ve been following along here at Laurel and Iron, you already know that I love bourbon! Check out my Blood Orange Old Fashioned here!
In honor of Easter, I thought a fun twist on the mint julep was in order. Adding grapefruit is the perfect touch to bring the mint julep from pearls and horse races to Easter brunch. Even if you can’t make it to Kentucky, you can still get your Derby on this spring.
Much like the Blood Orange Old Fashioned, the julep starts with a simple syrup.
Mint Simple Syrup (makes 1 cup)
recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, whole
In small sauce pan, over medium heat, add sugar and water and stir to dissolve. Allow mixture to come boil.
Turn heat down to a simmer. Add mint leaves and let steep for 20 minutes to infuse mint flavor.
Take the mixture off the heat and let come to room temperature.
Strain to remove mint leaves and store syrup in an air-tight container under refrigeration for up to one week.
Once you have your syrup, you can start mixing…then you can start sipping. Which the best part!
Grapefruit Mint Julep (makes 1)
recipe adapted from Make It World Class
2 oz bourbon
2 oz pink grapefruit juice
1 oz mint simple syrup
6 mint leaves plus a spring for garnish
Note: Juleps are traditionally served in pewter julep glasses but the pretty pink hue shouldn’t be hidden. Serve it in a clear glass* instead!
In the bottom of a glass, add syrup and mint leaves. Muddle* gently.
Add bourbon and grapefruit juice. Fill the glass half way with ice and stir.
Top off with ice and a spring of mint.
Juleps should be served with a straw* because posh derby goers would look down on you for sipping straight from the glass. Heaven forbid!
Whether you sip this drink while wearing a fascinator and a fabulous dress or a pair of jeans, you’re bound to feel fancy and free.
I hope you enjoy!
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