The Mint Julep is a classic bourbon cocktail that was invented in the American south sometime in the 1700s. Early Mint Juleps were prescribed as medicine for stomach ailments, no doubt due to the dose of refreshing, stomach-settling mint. However, I don’t know how helpful the bourbon was for curing anything other than boredom.
In addition to the common Julep spirits of bourbon, other whiskies, and brandy, Juleps are exceptional with aged rums. I created this Aged Rum Mint Julep recipe in partnership with Santa Teresa Rum, and it works beautifully with their aged rum, Santa Teresa 1796. The rum has notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. All of these decadent dessert flavors pair so well with mint, especially when enhanced by a touch of sweet demerara simple syrup.
Demerara Simple Syrup
If you don’t have demerara sugar, you could substitute brown sugar in a pinch, but I recommend picking up a small bag of demerara sugar the next time you find yourself in your grocery store’s baking aisle. Demerara sugar is a less processed brown sugar that adds a wonderful, subtle molasses flavor to many cocktails. And making demerara simple syrup couldn’t be easier! You can learn all about demerara and other syrups in my Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Syrups.
I’ve used a couple dashes of orange bitters in this Mint Julep because orange and mint are one of my very favorite drink flavor pairings. If you don’t have orange bitters, no worries, this cocktail will still be delicious and refreshing. Try it with cherry or chocolate bitters too!
What base spirit do you prefer in your Mint Juleps? If you make this recipe, don’t forget to share it and tag me on Instagram!
Aged Rum Mint Julep
- 2 oz aged rum I used Santa Teresa 1796
- 1/4 oz demerara simple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- In a Julep cup, gently muddle the mint leaves, syrup, and bitters.
- Add the rum and fill the cup with crushed ice. Stir until chilled (the cup will frost over).
- Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint (and an edible flower, if desired). Serve with a straw.