Since the word julep came from gulab – a Persian term for a drink of sweetened rose water – let’s build a julep that plays homage to the middle eastern linguistic roots of the cocktail, the Apricot Rose Julep. One of my favorite flavor combinations is apricot and rose – but really any floral aroma or taste marries well with apricot for me.
If you’re just jumping into this week’s Quarantine Cocktail series, this week we’re doing Mint Juleps since it’s April and April is Mint Julep month. Previously we’ve done a Breakfast Julep, a Pineapple Sage Rum Julep, and a Peanut Butter Banana Julep. Tomorrow, we’re doing a Root Beer Float Julep! If you want to see the other cocktails that I’ve put together as part of the quarantine series, jump down to just before the recipe.
Back to the history of the julep, the arabic term julab eventually made its way into latin and in medieval Europe began to refer to medicinal tinctures or spirits that had sweetened water added to them to make them more palatable. Much like early versions of the old fashioned, it seems the julep has its origins in medicinal lore.
For me, the taste and aroma of fresh apricots is very floral, and it felt natural to pair it with some rose-infused honey syrup to sweeten the julep. I did need to add a bit of rose water to the cocktail because I wanted to keep the rose aroma from hiding behind the apricot and mint as you sipped the cocktail.
If you’re not a fan of honey, make a simple syrup infused with rose tea alone instead of infusing a honey syrup. I use dried rose petals to make my honey infusions, but there are many rose-flavored teas that can be used to build a simple with strong rose aromatics.
Please do not use roses from floral shops to create an infusion unless they are food-safe. Most roses have pesticides or sprays used on them to keep them looking and smelling their best, but those are not safe for human consumption. I stick to food grade dried rose petals for my infusions just to be safe. If you’ve got roses in your yard and know they’re 100% organic, by all means, have at it. My thumb’s just not that green.
For those of you curious about the other recipes in the Quarantine Series, I’ll put them here before you skim past to get to the recipe. Quarantine Old Fashioneds (Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary), and Quarantine Smashes (Whiskey Smash, Blackberry Sage Smash, Pineapple Tiki Smash, Strawberry Basil Smash and the Coffee Cherry Smash.)
Persian Julep – Apricot Rose Julep
- 1/2 oz honey rose simple syrup**
- 6 large mint leaves
- 2 dashes rose water optional
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- 1/2 oz Giffard’s apricot liqueur
- Garnish: sprig of mint, dried apricots, fresh, organic, food-safe rose petals
- Add the simple syrup and rose water to the bottom of a mixing glass. Tear the mint leaves in half and drop them into the syrup. Muddle lightly.
- Add the apricot liqueur and bourbon. Fill with ice and stir until chilled and well-combined, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a julep cup filled with cracked or crushed ice and garnish with a fresh mint sprig and some dried apricots.