An Elderflower Mint Julep

Greetings from sunny Florida!  I’ve spent the past week in Southwest Florida partially for my sister’s college graduation and partially for a pre-summer vacation.  Look for a special travel series of reviews and recommendations next week!

Today, I’d like to share my version of the popular Mint Julep cocktail.  The Mint Julep is a cocktail usually made with a bourbon base, sugar, water, and mint leaves.  It’s a popular summer drink and is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby – a famous American horse race that takes place in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May (tomorrow!).  I randomly created this version of the cocktail when I didn’t have any sugar or simple syrup (sugar water) handy.  I decided to try substituting St-Germain Elderflower Liquor – a light, sweet, floral liquor.  The result is a great Mint Julep with an added light floral note. This is a pretty strong cocktail, so if you’d like to mellow it out a little you could add a splash of Perrier.

Just as an aside, you can use any brand of bourbon with similar results.  Traditionally, Mint Juleps usually are made with a Kentucky bourbon.  For this version of the drink, I tried a bourbon from the Finger Lakes region of New York State – McKenzie Bourbon by Finger Lakes Distilling. It was an interesting choice; less mellow and refined than Kentucky bourbons.  It's lively with a bit more of a kick.     

An Elderflower Mint Julep

Start with Bourbon, St-Germain Liquor, ice cubes, mint, and a highball (tall) glass.
Add the ice cubes to the glass.
Add 2 oz of Bourbon and 1 oz of St-Germain.
Use a long spoon or spoon handle to mix the drink. 
Garnish with a spring of mint or crush the mint leaves into the drink to get more flavor.

Share in the comments what you think if you try this drink or if you have any twists of your own on the Mint Julep!