Sunday, April 1, 2012

Carolina Cup Mint Julep's with Homemade Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup

Finally, a new recipe for y'all! Sorry I've been a bad blogger, but I have a good reason for it. I've went out of town to Columbia for the Carolina Cup. I had never been to the Cup before, but I heard it was a blast. So, I talked to one of my best friend's from high school, who went to college in South Carolina, and she organized for us to get a prime tailgating spot with a big group of people. Let me tell you, it was a blast. If you live in the South, definitely put it on your bucket list. It's similar to the Kentucky Derby, but a little bit younger and a lot drunker. Of course, tailgating is my favorite thing to do in the world, so when we knew for sure that we were going, I instantly started planning our menu. I made pimento cheese, spicy sausage dip, pigs n' a blanket, sweet potato biscuits with country ham, mini derby pies, porker jack (or popcorn pig candy), and my soon-to-be-famous Carolina Cup Mint Juleps with Homemade Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup. If you haven't heard of or had a Mint Julep, then you're crazy. They are one of my favorite drinks and just plain delicious. A typical Julep has high quality bourbon, fresh mint, sugar or some kind of sweetener, and lots of crushed ice. I knew I wanted to use a classic Julep recipe as inspiration, but I just had to make it my own as well. I think the one component that really made this drink special was my Homemade Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup. This thick & sweet simple syrup is infused with lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and fresh mint. Typically, Mint Julep's don't have any lemon, but I thought that it would provide the drink with some acidity that would cut the taste of the alcohol, while also giving it an unique flavor. And boy, it really did. The homemade syrup made the drink sweet and oh-so-smooth. We muddled each drink fresh to order for everyone at our tailgate and they were an absolute hit. So, whip up a big batch of this homemade simple syrup and store it in an airtight container for up to a month, so you can enjoy Mint Julep's for a long time!! Enjoy :)
Our First Mint Julep's of the Day... at 9:00AM :)
Me & My Best Friend from High School
Best Couple Friends... Clayton, Me, Lindsay, & Billy
My Mountain Man's Ridiculously Southern-Preppy Outfit
Some of the Girls 
Bright Colors, Pretty Patterns, Big Hats, Bow Ties, Mint Juleps, & Cigars
Carolina Cup Mint Juleps with Homemade Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup 
The Frosted Glass
Always garnish with fresh mint sprigs for a perfect presentation
For the Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup:
2C Sugar
2C Water
1 Lemon Zested
½C Fresh Lemon Juice
1 ½C Fresh Mint Leaves, Packed (do not include stems, they cause bitterness)

For the Mint Juleps:
8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves (plus mint springs for garnish)
2oz Prepared Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup, Chilled
2oz High Quality Bourbon (or 3oz for a guy's drink)
Crushed Ice

1. For the Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup: Heat the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add in the fresh mint leaves and let the mint steep for 10 minutes. Next, pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bottle. Discard the solids. Let the syrup cool completely at room temperature. Stir in the fresh lemon juice. Refrigerate the syrup until chilled. Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
2. For the Mint Juleps: Place the fresh mint leaves into the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and then add in about handful of crushed ice. Muddle the mint leaves with the crushed ice until the mint leaves and ice are bruised & broken up. Add in the prepared simple syrup into the cocktail shaker, over the ice, and slightly muddle again. Add in the bourbon and shake to combine. Fill a julep cup or glass full with crushed ice. Pour the liquid over the ice (do not strain out the crushed mint). Stir until a frost forms on the outside of the cup. Top with a little more crushed ice and garnish with fresh mint springs, and then serve with a straw. 


  1. love the big colourful sun hats :)totally feminine and fun!

  2. I know, I am partial to the big hats as well! I definitely recommend a horse race in your near future!