Mint juleps are a sign that spring and summer are here. Perhaps you have taken a trip and enjoyed Disneyland's Mint Julep Recipe or know that mint julep recipes are made around the time of the Kentucky Derby. Did you know on average 12,000 mint juleps are served in the 2 days of the Kentucky Derby races? It takes 1000 pounds of mint to make them all!
Whether you are asking yourself:
What are the best mocktail recipes?
How do you make a mint julep?
What are some great recipes with mint leaves?
How do I get the most flavor out of mint leaves?
Can I make mint julep without alcohol?
Or what are some of the coolest cocktails in the world?
Then you have come to the right place! Let's dive into some of that goodness here, shall we?
Before we start: This herbal information is just that, information. This blog post and I DO NOT INTEND to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease or illness. This is for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a physician before using herbs medicinally. Grab all the deets on the Medical jargon here.This post also contains affiliate links throughout. Translation: We get a little kick back for sharing certain products, at no additional cost to you, should you choose to purchase said items. And - thank you for supporting our farm and family! Read the full disclaimer here. PHEW! Let's carry on, shall we?
Well, there is just no mint julep without some mint! Mint is the key ingredient in this traditional Kentucky Derby drink recipe. Mint is very easy to grow and one of the most common herbs in the herb garden. It can get quite wild if not controlled though. No worries there are some great recipes to use with mint leaves!
Some people might wonder, after seeing pictures of mint juleps, can you eat mint leaves? The answer is yes! Mint leaves are fully edible though they may not have the best texture in their raw form they are safe to eat as food. The best way to get the most flavor out of mint leaves is to dry them and then steep them as either a tea or a simple syrup as we will cover further on in this post. The dehydration process intensifies the flavor of the mint and makes it much stronger. It's a great candidate for this summer cocktail! This mint julep recipe has both dried mint and fresh mint in it. Fresh mint is also great to use in a Mint Mojito recipe or even a Moscow Mule. So no more wondering, "What can I make with fresh mint?" You have found a keeper right here. Also if you aren't growing mint out yet check out all the medicinal benefits of mint here and see what might be a good idea, even if it's just a potted plant in the house!
Now for the secret ingredient to the twist of this favorite summer cocktail. You know we had to get some tea in this recipe right? I mean even though mint is an herbal tea, we had to get some real tea in there too. What better than some green tea!
So why is green tea called green tea? After all, you said this was 'real' tea. Actual tea (not made from herbs) comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant a.k.a. the tea plant. That includes black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, Darjeeling tea, gunpowder green tea, matcha green tea, jasmine green tea, etc. Green tea is made by pan firing or steaming the tea leaves so that they don't oxidate and turn black (as in black tea). This helps them keep their green color and the antioxidants that green tea is known for.
Many questions come up with the topic of green tea because it is so known for its health benefits. Things like: Is green tea a fat burner? Is green tea dehydrating? Does green tea help with weight loss? What are the benefits and side effects of drinking green tea? While we don't really have space in this post to cover that you can check out our previous post on the benefits of green tea.
Green tea pairs excellently with mint and it's ideal for giving this mint julep recipe the perfect little twist! It's time to get mak'n so we can start sipp'n!
Green Tea Mint Julep Recipe
- Simple Syrup
- 1/8 cup Dried Mint + 1/8 loose Gunpowder Green Tea ( to simplify we used Emerald Garden Mint Tea)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- Cocktail - makes 1
- 2 oz bourbon*
- ½ oz homemade mint syrup
- 3 mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- Make the simple syrup by combining the tea and water into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by ¼. Strain the tea and place the steeped tea back into the saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has thickened up a bit.
- Make the cocktail by muddling 2 fresh mint leaves at the bottom of your Julep cup with ½ oz of the fresh syrup. Add the bourbon and then fill the cup up with crushed iced.
- Give it a stir and garnish with fresh mint if desired.
* To make this into a mocktail just switch out the bourbon for some brewed and chilled black tea to get a comparable drink that is just as enjoyable!
Photo Credit: @kaylajoycreative
I don't know about you but now I'm thirs-tea. Personally, I don't drink alcohol (I'm glad that I have some fabulous help there to taste test recipes for me!) but I'm a fan of mint anything. I'll be overall over that Mint Julep Mocktail Recipe with the black tea instead of the bourbon. Sometimes we just have health issues or believes that don't allow us to use alcohol and I'm thankful there is almost always a great mocktail to replace it. Now I can sip one of the best summer mocktails in my fancy cup and enjoy it out in my garden... right next to the fresh mint plant.
How about you? What is your favorite summer mocktail or cocktail? Is it sun tea, iced tea, a Moscow mule, or Mint Mojito? Share with me in the comments below! I'd love to hear what you sip on a hot day as a treat!
Photo Credit: @kaylajoycreative
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