It's Derby week, y'all. Finally, one week out of the year where juleps can be enjoyed and celebrated! Juleps get a lot of hate, and at the track, they aren't particularly tasty, but when you think about it, a mint julep is a riff on on old fashioned.
Think about it: a classic old fashioned is about 2 ounces of bourbon or rye and small amount of sweetener, say 1/4 to 1/2 ounce. This is very similar in proportion to the mint julep. They traditionally start with two ounces of bourbon and add in about 1/2 ounce of simple syrup, getting some of the mint flavor by muddling the mint leaves in the bottom of the glass. But an old fashioned thrives on its bitters, and I wanted to do the same here.
Ballotin Whiskey makes a chocolate mint variety and it tastes just like you're eating a thin mint. So why not put it in a julep, and feel like you're sneaking a girl scout cookie while at the track or enjoying a Derby party?
Thin Mint Julep
1.5 oz Old Forester bourbon
1.5 oz Ballotin Chocolate Mint
15 drops Scrappy's chocolate bitters
Garnish: Sprig of fresh mint.
Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain and pour into a julep cup filled with crushed or cracked ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint that you've spanked across the other wrist. Spanking the mint wakes up the mint, lightly bruising some of the leaves, making them more aromatic. Next, put the straw into the drink right at the mint so that your nose dips into the mint every time you take a sip. Try to drink slowly.
Heather Wibbels is a cocktail enthusiast who spends her time thinking about cocktails, researching cocktails and making cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.