This blueberry mint julep is an easy, seasonal, and fun twist on the classic summer cocktail that’s almost too pretty to drink – almost.
Three words – outdoor cocktail season. It has arrived. One of the warm weather activities Cameron and I look forward to most is heading over to the fountain sprays and wading pool at Yards Park next to Nationals Stadium in DC. We’ve been fans since it was just a tiny hint of the urban oasis it’s developed into, and a summer activity we return to again and again. We generally head over late in the day once the bigger crowds have dispersed, picnic dinner in hand. We grab an iced coffee at the local cafe and then munch on snacks and sandwiches while Cassian splashes until the sun sets. More often than not, we head over to the retail shops and grab a beer or a cocktail and sit on an outdoor patio while we dry off in the evening heat. It’s every bit the perfection that city summer dreams are made of.
I’m eagerly awaiting the end of the school year and/or the first 90* Friday so we can have our first summer urban adventure. I can’t wait to see Asher’s reaction. Given his enthusiasm for swimming lessons and bath time, I think he’s going to be in heaven. Until then, I’ll settle for the official opening of outdoor cocktail season with the arrival of Memorial Day weekend. And what better way to kick it off than with this super seasonal, super refreshing blueberry mint julep. This is a fun twist on the classic mint julep with muddled blueberries and of course, lots of fresh mint. Plus, the finished drink is so freaking pretty you almost don’t want to drink it. Almost.
Blueberry Mint Julep Recipe Notes
The classic mint julep calls for crushed ice and I happen to agree that its best served this way. Since you probably don’t have a crushed ice machine at home (duh) you can make your own by tossing a few handfuls in the blender and pulsing until its sufficiently crushed. Easy peasy.
Making your own simple syrup at home is pretty straightforward. Simply bring 1 cup of water to a boil, stir in 2 cups of sugar, stir over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then cool. Store in a lidded mason jar or other container in the fridge. It’ll last for at least a few weeks.
While I’m a big, big fan of the blueberry mint julep, other berries work wonderfully here. I like straight up blackberry, and also a combination of blueberries and raspberries. I’d like to get my hands on some currants this summer and give them a try. They’re a little tart, so if you give it a whirl add a touch of extra simple syrup. This would also be refreshing with overripe wild strawberries. If you make a blueberry mint julep this summer, or any other combination, make sure to post in on Instagram and tag #oursaltykitchen. I wanna see your creations!
Blueberry Mint Julep
- 6-8 blueberries
- 10-12 mint leaves plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 2 oz. soda water
Place the blueberries, mint leaves, and simple syrup in the bottom of a glass. Gently muddle the blueberries and mint in the simple syrup until the blueberries are crushed and the mint leaves are bruised and starting to break down (they'll get really dark green as they release their oils).
Add the bourbon and then give all of the ingredients a quick stir.
Add enough crushed ice to fill the glass to the rim, and then pour the soda water over the ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and drink immediately.