Mint Juleps and Old Fashioneds

When I wrote the initial post about how to stock your liquor cabinet I lumped whiskey and bourbon together. While I don’t think it is imperative that you have both I highly encourage it.

Because more liquor is just that- more liquor. And that is rarely a bad thing. Unless it is. Then please don’t.

Both mint juleps and old fashioneds I think are standouts for bourbon. You can make these with whiskey and no one will mind one bit. But buy bourbon and keep it on hand. If you can.

Mint Julep

Mint juleps are a traditional southern drink and the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. Crushing the ice to smithereens is an extra step but one I seriously think you should take. Just wrap the ice in a towel and whack it with your rolling pin. Or do as I did and just whir it in your food processor. Either way you want tiny crushed ice bits. It is way cool when the outside of your glass freezes (ha ha ha).

Mint Julep

Besides if you have been making drinks along with me so far you will already have the mint in your fridge. Or just grow a big patch outside your front door.

Mint Julep

Old fashioneds are a new to me drink. Clearly they are not new new seeing as they are old fashioned (man I am on a roll). When I first started making these I was using real maraschino cherries. Oh my yuck. Thankfully I complained to a friend and he suggested using dark morello cherries from Trader Joe’s. What an easy swap and what a win.

Old Fashioned

Granted the morellos wont last for years on end in your fridge the same way but they are a great treat to appease a toddler while you are whipping up your drinks for the evening. Not that that has ever happened to me. Nor did I make him a virgin tequila sunrise because he wanted a drink like mommy’s.

Old Fashioned

The other ingredient you need to hunt down for old fashioneds are bitters. Bitters are a “liquor that is flavored with the sharp pungent taste of plant extracts and is used as an additive in cocktails.” In this case we are using Angostura bitters. One bottle is relatively cheap and will last maybe forever. Just do it. Being able to make old fashioneds is worth it. 

One year ago today: Earl grey cake with rhubarb cream cheese glaze and Spanish tortilla

Mint Julep

Mint Julep (makes 1 drink)

Leaves from 4-5 mint sprigs
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
Mint sprig for garnish

Place the mint and simple syrup into a old-fashioned glass. Muddle well to dissolve the sugar and to release the oil and aroma of the mint. Fill with crushed ice, pour the bourbon on top, and stir well until the glass becomes frosty. Garnish with the mint sprig.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned (makes 1 drink)

2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp sugar
1-2 morello cherries
1 lemon peel twist

Place the sugar in a glass and drop in the cherries. Muddle into a paste using a muddler or the back end of a spoon. Pour in bourbon, add a dash or two of bitters, fill with ice cubes, and stir.

Margaritas and Tequila Sunrises

Ok so I already told you the first bottle of alcohol I bought was a peppermint schnapps to add to my hot cocoa. While I cannot say this with 100% certainty I am pretty confident the second bottle I bought was tequila.

Many a night in college was spent at the late night half off appetizer and cheap margaritas happy hour at Applebees (I feel like I just outed myself for saying that). Love me a margarita.

Margarita

At first I only wanted them blended and with strawberry. Over time I moved on to just lime and blended then finally lime on the rocks. Oh the salt. That was my favorite part.

And once there was this one night with a bottle of tequila and another of orange juice. There may have only been three of us that night but we drank the.whole.bottle. One of the three who were there that night refuses to drink tequila sunrises to this day. Hint- it isn’t me.

Tequila Sunrise

A few years ago I traveled to Mexico for work and had the pleasure of learning to sip tequila. Goodness gracious that stuff is delicious. And artisan tequila can be as unique and tasty as craft bourbon. Yes I said it. That is how much I like it.

So picking which tequila drinks to make you was SO easy. These are my go to. Margaritas more so than tequila sunrises because a) they aren’t as sweet and b) I tend to have all the ingredients on hand.

Margarita

If you have been following along making drinks you will already have all the things you need to make margaritas. Tequila sunrises you simply need orange juice and grenadine. Grenadine last forever by the way. I can’t even tell you how long we have had the bottle that we own.

Tequila Sunrise

So bottoms up. These are two of my faves.

One year ago today: Vanilla poppyseed thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Margaritas

Margarita (makes 1 drink)

1 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce triple sec
1 1/2 ounces tequila
Salt for rim

Place salt in a shallow dish. Moisten the rim of a rocks glass with a lime, then dip in salt. Add ice to the glass. Fill your shaker 3/4 full of ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. Shake for 30 seconds or till well chilled. Pour over ice into the prepared glass.

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Tequila Sunrise (makes 1 drink)

4 ounces orange juice
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce grenadine

Pour the tequila and the orange juice into a highball glass with ice cubes. Stir. Slowly pour the grenadine around the inside edge of the glass, it will sink and slowly rise to mix with the other ingredients naturally.