Building on Joe’s Bourbon Trail post from yesterday, I have to get on my high horse once more about my favorite cocktail of all time. With the Kentucky Derby kicking off the race for the Triple Crown tomorrow, people will be reaching for their mint juleps across the country to celebrate victory and commiserate in defeat. Joe talked about how great some of the mint juleps were on his trip but I’ve got a simple variation that in my mind, beats out the classic by miles.
I’ve never loved the mint julep flavor profile mainly because I find it hard to drink many of them. The mint tends to contribute to a degree of cloying-ness in the drink, which is why the use of basil is the perfect solution. The basil flavor is brighter, fresher, and lighter which is why I end up drinking 40,000 of these cocktails on Derby Day. To be honest, the Derby is my excuse to bring this drink back into season as truthfully, I enjoy nothing more than the Basil Julep all through the warm weather months. Happy Derby Day!
The Basil Julep:
3 oz Bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace)
2 Thin Lemon Slices
Basil Leaf to Garnish
Muddle the lemon slices and basil syrup together. Add the bourbon and top with ice before garnishing with a fresh basil leaf to serve.