Celebrate Kentucky Derby Week by whipping up homemade Blueberry Mint Juleps, a twist on the Churchill Downs traditional cocktail! Mint leaves are muddled with sugar, then hot water is poured atop them. Blueberry puree is added next with lemon juice and bourbon. Add ice to the cocktail shaker, and shake the drink until it’s chilled and delicious. Serve in a highball glass (or any other glass of your choosing) with a sprig of mint as garnish!
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I realize that it’s only Wednesday, but I want to kick this day off with a bang. A fruit-filled boozy bang.
The first weekend of May has always been special to me because it means one thing: The Run for the Roses.
As a kid, I was obsessed with horse racing. I manually recorded races onto video tapes and listened to the commentators as they analyzed races. I was convinced that I would own a racehorse one day. And my racehorse, obviously, would be the one who broke the Triple Crown drought.
Y’all will be pleased to know that I’ve cooled my jets as an adult.
The Triple Crown drought was broken last year. You know, the one year I didn’t pay attention because we had a newborn. So Lady Baby? If you become a horse racing fan like your mama and ask her where she was when American Pharoah won the Belmont? She will tell you — lovingly, of course — that she was at home, not watching, because she was taking care of you and/or napping while you were napping. Because you took lots of naps back then.
I’m back on the horse racing bandwagon this year. And while I still look forward to this year’s Triple Crown, I’m more excited about making the traditional cocktails that accompany each race.
Did y’all know that the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont all have their own signature drinks?
The Mint Julep, the Black Eyed Susan and the Belmont Breeze, respectively.
Today, I’m taking a drink that is tasty… and putting a little spin on it.
The driving force behind this cocktail is my love for blueberries.
Mint Juleps are really strong, and the first one I ever imbibed was overwhelming. Yes, it was utterly delicious, but I knew if I drank it too fast, I wouldn’t remember the Derby, let alone my name.
So when making this here adaptation, I made the executive choice to make it a bit lighter. After all, it’s got a lot going on, and the blueberries and mint don’t need to drown in bourbon.
Yeah, I realize some might disagree.
But for those of y’all who like a little fruit with your beverages? And for those of y’all who can’t drink an entire Mint Julep because it would knock you on your butt?
This one’s for you!
Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Blueberry Mint Juleps
- Essentials: Cocktail Shaker. Metal muddler. Blender (to make the blueberry puree.)
- Get the look!: Abigails Gold Champagne Flutes.
Who’s ready for one of these beauties?
Here’s how you can mix up a batch of your own:
Blueberry Mint Juleps
- 15 mint leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 oz . hot water
- 3 oz . blueberry puree
- 1/2 oz . lemon juice
- 2 1/2 oz . bourbon
Make the blueberry puree
- In the base of a blender, blend 1 cup of fresh blueberries until completely pulverized.
- Pour the blueberry puree into a mason jar for storage, and chill until time to make the drinks.
Make the Juleps
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves into the caster sugar.
- Pour in the hot water, swirling the mint leaves and sugar in it until the sugar has dissolved.
- Measure in the blueberry puree, lemon juice and bourbon.
- Add the ice, shaking the cocktail in the shaker until everything is chilled and combined.
- Serve in a favorite glass over ice, and enjoy immediately with a garnish of mint leaves and fresh blueberries.