Oh hey friends, it’s been a while!
I’m back. But no, for real this time. My kids are back in school and I’m returning to some semblance of normalcy. At least as much normalcy as can possibly be achieved in 2020.
So I’m guessing we’ve all heard the news that the Run for the Roses will be done without fans this year. I’m honestly not surprised at all. I was more surprised when they said they were still going to have 23,000 people there. And as much as a bummer it is to have a year without having the race with fans, I’m frankly more relieved that we don’t have to plan for a day that looked and felt so different AT THE TRACK.
That being said, I’m all about getting to have a late summer race day party at home. Watching the races from a backyard pool party sounds right up my alley.
I know everyone hates when there is too much text in front of a recipe post, so here’s the quick jist of things. Obviously, a mint julep is the drink of the day. But with the race being moved from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday of September, it’s the perfect excuse to put a fall twist on the classic cocktail.
The Mint Julep can be a bit of a polarizing drink. Most people either love it or hate it. Personally, I love it but ONLY at the track. It’s a tradition for me to go get one right after placing all my bets and right before the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” I like to belt it out (and shed a single tear… really) with a julep in hand.
This year, I’ll be keeping the tradition alive by entering all my bets and then sipping on this tart take on the classic. Just swap out regular simple syrup for a cranberry infused simple syrup and add a small splash of cranberry for a crisp fall take on the quintessential cocktail. For this recipe, I took some inspiration and direction from this recipe from How Sweet Eats and put a little different spin on her holiday version.
Oh and a hot tip: a julep just isn’t a julep without the crushed ice. I hit up the gas station and filled up a few 32 oz cups with the delicious pellet ice to make this. If you’re going to a party, just swing by on the way and stash it in the freezer until it’s time to whip up your cocktails.
Maker’s Mark® Cranberry Pomegranate Mint Julep
- 2.5 parts Maker’s Mark® or Maker’s Mark® 46
- 1.5 parts Cranberry Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- .5 parts pomegranate juice
- Crushed Ice
- Fresh mint leaves
- Dash of cinnamon for garnish
Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberriesIn a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, and water to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cranberries are tender but haven’t burst, 10 minutes. Let cool, then strain. Discard cranberries.
Mix It Up
Combine simple syrup and pomegranate juice into a shaker. Fill julep cup halfway with ice. Pour bourbon over ice, followed by the simple syrup and pomegranate juice. Stir and pack cup with ice (you want that pretty crushed ice cone at the top of your cup). Garnish with fresh mint and a dash of cinnamon.