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- 10-12 cilantro leaves (plus extra sprigs for garnish)
- 1 Teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 Ounce lemon juice
- 2 1/2 Ounces tequila
- Crushed ice
In a cocktail glass, muddle the cilantro, agave nectar, and lemon juice. Add about half of the tequila and some crushed ice, then stir to mix. Add the rest of the tequila and fill the glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a couple of sprigs of cilantro.
Kentucky Derby, Meet Cinco de Mayo?
The Kentucky Derby (this year held on May 3&ndash4) and Cinco de Mayo (May 5, natch) fall on the same weekend. That&rsquos a lot of revelry to pack into three days&mdashnot to mention, what will you choose to drink? The classic Mint Julep in honor of Derby Day or a Tequila tipple to celebrate Mexico&rsquos heritage?
Choices, choices. Luckily, we have your answer. Wine Enthusiast asked Colin Shearn, beverage director at St. Charles Exchange in Louisville, Kentucky, to create a blend of the two. Ladies and gents, we introduce to you the Tequila Julep.
Shearn works smack dab in the middle of Derby action and knows a thing or two about juleps. While typically made with Kentucky Bourbon, in this version, Shearn swaps it out for two spirits with Mexican heritage: crisp blanco Tequila and smoky mezcal. Meanwhile, simple syrup made with brown demerara sugar, adds a sweet richness to the mix&mdashall built in a julep cup and garnished with a mint sprig, of course.
Hell Hath No Fury
Recipe courtesy Colin Shearn, beverage director/mixologist, St. Charles Exchange, Louisville, Kentucky
1 ounce Espolón Blanco Tequila
1 ounce Del Maguey VIDA mezcal
½ ounce demerara syrup
1 dash Bittermens Hellfire Shrub
Mint sprig, for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a julep cup and scoop in crushed ice. Stir briefly, then add more crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and 2 short straws.
9 Julep Variations to Try Right Now
The julep-style cocktail, served over crushed ice and garnished with mint, is said to have its origins in the Persian gulab, a rosewater-scented syrup. As the drink migrated to Europe and then across the Atlantic and evolved with time and available ingredients, it eventually found its current form: a refreshing combination of mint, whiskey, sugar and ice.
The Mint Julep was popularized in the South and made by all the most prestigious bartenders of the time, most notably by Tom Bullock, a Black bartender who paved the way for Black bartenders in the late-19th and early-20th centuries and is said to have made one of the best juleps in Louisville.
These days, the julep is most commonly associated with the iconic Kentucky Derby, where it’s the event’s official drink. But you don’t need to limit your julep drinking to the first Saturday in May the drink’s dark-spirit base renders it delicious year-round. For the best version of the cocktail, the key is cracked ice, and lots of it, and the freshest herbs you can find.
If you’re looking to try variations on the classic, you’ll be sure to find one among these to suit your fancy.
The Mint Julep is a refreshing cocktail, one that was used as medicine back in the day. The classic Mint Julep uses bourbon as its main spirit, but with this cocktail, we’ve swapped out bourbon for Tequila to give you a little kick.
- 2 oz Reposado Tequila
- 1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- Small Piece fresh ginger
- Garnish: Mint Leaves
Peel the ginger and use a box grater to grate it finely, then squeeze to release the juices in a mixing glass. Add the lemon juice and pour in the agave syrup. Add the mint leaves and muddle together. Pour in the tequila and stir. Add enough crushed ice to fill the glass just below the rim and stir again. Garnish with a mint leaf, enjoy!
Even with this weather the Kentucky Derby will run today and for those who will be enjoying the action from he comfort of your warm home then we have the cocktail and awesome giveaway for you. We recently received some amazing copper mint julep cups and accessories from Sertodo Copper and as soon as they arrived with our engraved logo on them we called the team and asked if we could do a giveaway with them.
Because they are so awesome they agreed so check out our Instagram post for the details and enter for your chance to win your own set. Luckily this is a festival that continually coincides with another big drinking day, Cinco de Mayo, which means that we all probably have some leftover tequila sitting around. Although some (usually, a lot) bourbon should almost always be consumed during the Kentucky Derby why not put that leftover tequila to use? We had planned on making some traditional Mint Juleps but there was so much tequila still sitting on the bar that we just started throwing it in the juleps instead and it tasted awesome.
Basil stands in for the mint in this contemporary version of the Southern classic. Julep fans and Kentucky Derby–goers alike will appreciate this makeover, which mixes the pungent basil and tart lime with a top-shelf bourbon. The recipe makes enough simple syrup for about 10 to 12 drinks, so invite some friends over for a summer celebration.
For the basil simple syrup:
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water
15 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
For the julep:
1 oz. (30 ml) fresh lime juice
1.To make the basil simple syrup, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a simmer. Add the sugar and chopped basil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
2. In a rocks glass, muddle 8 of the basil leaves and 1 oz. (30 ml) of the basil simple syrup. Add the bourbon and lime juice, pack the glass tightly with crushed ice, and stir until the glass is frosted on the outside. Top with more crushed ice to form a dome. Garnish with the remaining basil leaf and the lime wedge. Makes 1 drink.
For updates of our favorite classic cocktails infused with today’s fresh ingredients, check out our book Cocktails: Modern Favorites to Make at Home , by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.
- 12 mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish
- 1 1/4 ounces blanco tequila
- 1/2 ounce oloroso sherry
- 1/2 ounce Cocchi Americano (fortified, slightly bitter aperitif wine)
- 3/4 teaspoon Simple Syrup
- Dash of Angostura bitters
- Dash of orange bitters
- Crushed ice
- 1 blackberry, for garnish
In a chilled julep cup, muddle the mint leaves. Add the tequila, sherry, Cocchi Americano, Simple Syrup and both bitters fill with crushed ice and mix by spinning a swizzle stick or bar spoon between your hands. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with the blackberry. Lightly crush the mint sprig with your fingers to release the oils, then add it to the cup as garnish. Serve with a metal spoon-straw.
Jun 15 Tequila Julep Cocktail
A new twist-on-a-classic from HomeGoods Style Expert Christy Pope – the Tequila Julep! Perfect for dad on Father's Day, the tequila adds a unique flair to drink we know and love and is served in a stoic, long-stemmed julep glass or low-ball crystal glass.
Handful of mint, muddled
¼ oz agave syrup (2 parts: 1 part water)
½ oz Lustau East India Sherry (Oloros Style)
2 oz Espolon Reposado Tequila
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
In a long-stemmed Julep cup (or glass of choice), add a handful of mint leaves (two sprigs) and top with the cocktail ingredients (agave, sherry, tequila, bitters) and muddle. A gentle 3-4 presses of the mint at the bottom of the cup is all that is needed to release the aromatic mint essence. Top with heaping pellet ice or crushed ice to fill the cup and create a cone-like top. Garnish with two or three sprigs of mint for a bountiful bouquet atop the Julep.
10 Fiery Tequila Cocktails to Heat up Your Summer
Ah, tequila. Few alcoholic beverages inspire the same level of dismay or delight—depending on the situation—or trigger the same memories (or lack thereof) of nights out with your buddies like this oft-misunderstood Mexican spirit.
But seeing as it’s National Tequila Day, we thought we’d dispel a few rumors and share a few spicy, summer-worthy cocktail recipes so that you can celebrate like the learned, debonaire gentleman you know you want to be—*ahem* are.
First things first, tequila is actually better enjoyed as a spirit you sip, rather than one you shoot. And before you put your hands up, we’ll have you know that this is coming from expert on all things tequila, Kevin Vanegas, the National Tequila Ambassador for Brown-Forman. While some types of tequila can be used as a quick shot, “when you drink finer tequila with high-quality production process like Tequila Herradura, you should enjoy it by sipping or in a craft cocktail,” Vanegas says.
That’s because higher-end tequilas have more complex flavors that vary depending on the production process and age. In the case of some of Herradura’s aged expressions, like its Añejo, “the more time they spend in the barrel, the stronger is the presence of wood, caramel and vanilla notes,” he explains. So if you were to just toss a shot of some of the good (i.e. more expensive) stuff back, you could easily miss the many different tasting notes.
The next, and probably most important, myth we’d like to debunk: lime and salt. Contrary to popular belief, lime and salt can actually worsen your experience with tequila, according to Vanegas. “Adding in lime and salt will overpower some of those delicate notes and flavors that should really be savored,” he says. This is especially true of aged tequilas like reposados and añejos—so if that’s what you want to drink, we recommend sipping it neat.
This last myth could potentially bring up some bad memories, most likely from college, of something one of your friends dared you to do—drink the worm in the tequila bottle. But as it turns out, tequila has never actually been associated with the “worm,” according to Vanegas. In reality, “the ‘worm,’ also known as the Gusano you see in mezcals, was used as a marketing gimmick many years ago in Oxacaca, the birthplace of mezcal,” he says. So the next time someone challenges you to down the worm, you can tell them they just got played.
So now that you’re a bit wiser when it comes to tequila, it’s time to put your knowledge and refinement to the test. Here are 10 spicy, savory tequila cocktails—with just the right amount of sweetness—that pack a punch in flavor and spirit.
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