Mint juleps might be the official drink of the Kentucky Derby but they're also just a great summer drink. With simple ingredients like good bourbon, fresh mint, a little sugar and plenty of ice, it's a cool drink for warm weather. Naturally I had to tinker with it.
Really, my only complaint about the traditional julep is that it's a strong drink in the heat and I prefer something that's more of a slow sipper. And, of course, nothing beats a frozen drink when it's hot. I actually made quite a few tweaks to this version by adding a brown sugar syrup, fresh grapefruit juice and frozen grapefruit soda.
The brown sugar syrup is just a regular simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water but I used light brown sugar. The caramelized flavor is a perfect match with bourbon. Instead of just adding ice to make the drink frozen, I froze grapefruit soda in ice cube trays and used those. Choose one of the lightly flavored sodas that are so popular these days. Or just freeze regular sparkling water but the bubbles definitely add a lot to the refreshing quality of this drink. All that's left is to find myself a porch, or a fire escape for us city dwellers, and sip away. Cheers!
Yield: 2 Servings
Brown Sugar Frozen Grapefruit Julep
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 5 Mtotal time: 15 M
Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with brown sugar, grapefruit and mint.
- 4 oz. Bourbon
- 8 oz. Grapefruit juice
- 2 oz. Brown sugar syrup (recipe follows)
- 4 Sprigs fresh mint
- 8 oz. Frozen grapefruit or sparkling soda
- Pinch of salt
- Brown Sugar Simple Syrup:
- 1/4 Cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 Cup water
How to cook Brown Sugar Frozen Grapefruit Julep
- To make the syrup, add the light brown sugar and water to a pot and cook for a few minutes on low heat. Stir often until the sugar is dissolved, allow to cool and store in a bottle in the fridge.
- Pour sparkling grapefruit soda or unflavored sparkling water into ice cube trays and freeze.
- To make the cocktail, add the bourbon, grapefruit juice, brown sugar syrup, mint and frozen soda cubes to a blender along with a pinch of salt. Blend until the drink is slushy and pour into cocktail glasses. Garnish each with an additional sprig of fresh mint if desired.
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