I spent the weekend in Kentucky during the Derby and was able to carve off a little time to go visit the Bourbon Motherland. One of my favorite stops had to be the Maker’s Mark Distillery (for many reasons…but I’ll tell you about that another time).
I returned from there with an armload (to my wife’s disappointment….) a trunk-load of bottles to consume. One of those was the Maker’s Mark Mint Julep bourbon… made only during the Derby and sold only in Kentucky (I HAD TO GET IT!).
This brown liquid is delicious all by itself and even better (GASP!) over a little ice…but I experimented a bit tonight and came up with the Minted Manhattan. Follow along if you dare.
- 2-3oz Maker’s Mark Mint Julep Bourbon
- Dash of Fee Brother’s West Indian Orange Bitters (just a small dash to take the sweetness down a bit)
- Sweet Vermouth
- 1 Luxardo Maraschino cherry
- 2-3 fresh mint leafs
How I did it:
- Fill a martini glass with ice and water, set aside
- Measure(ish) your bourbon into a stirring glass (I like to pack a punch, so I always add more than most people are comfortable with, but this turned out great with 3oz)
- Add one dash of orange bitters
- Add 2-3 solid ice cubes (I’m an ice snob…this tray is fantastic)
- Mix with a bar spoon (do not shake this drink!) until you’ve made the booze nice and cold
- Dump out the water in your martini glass and shake dry
- Pour a small amount of sweet vermouth and roll around the glass until coated, dump the remainder of the vermouth out
- Place one cherry in the bottom of the glass (I like Luxardo…they’re not cheap but worth it)
- Strain your bourbon cocktail over the cherry
- Rub mint leaf around the rim of the glass and dump a couple fresh on top for good looks
- Take pictures, drink, enjoy and tell the world!
What did you think? Don’t have the Mint Julep Bourbon? That’s ok….just use a little simple syrup/fresh mint and gently muddle before adding your bourbon of choice.