Mint Julep with a twist (and a little tequila appreciation)

This weekend my husband was gifted a bottle of reposado tequila. Now, I would consider myself a tequila connoisseur. I’ve loved tequila since my college days but residing in Phoenix and bartending in the southwest I learned a lot about it and it’s really become a passion of mine. I’m slowly starting to open up my husband’s eyes to how versatile it can be depending on how and where it’s made, how long it ages, and how it’s aged. Most people don’t look past the Cuervo and the Patron. I don’t touch those with a 10 foot pole. I just can’t get with it. Hornitos, on the other hand, that’s a whole different story. They have a huge variety and I really haven’t encountered one that wasn’t smooth. The most affordable that they bottle is Sauza, which I’ve always been a fan of. The blanco is a really smooth, highland tequila with lots of floral notes. It’s great to use in margaritas, it’s great on its own, and it’s only about $10 a bottle.

This particular tequila that inspired this drink is not a blanco, however. Blanco’s are not aged, where as repos are. Generally in bourbon barrels so they pick up more of a caramel-y taste as well as color. So why not try a traditional bourbon cocktail but replace the bourbon with a reposado?

Not so traditional anymore. But so good.

Fair warning, this is a strong one. There’s really not much of a mixer involved (like a juice or anything) because you don’t want to cover up that flavor in the tequila they have worked so hard to infuse. But my husband loved it and said it made him feel like a millionaire, sipping such a sophisticated thing (and I’ve got to admit I was pretty impressed myself).

All you need is:

A bottle of reposado tequila

1 tsp sugar

About 3 to 4 mint leaves plus a few extra for garnish

A mixing tin and muddler (or in my case a glass cup and wooden spoon. Professional? No. But it works well.)

A shot glass for measuring purposes

Hot water

Start off by putting your 3-4 mint leaves in the glass or mixing tin you’re building the cocktail in. Then add your teaspoon of sugar. Muddle so the mint leaves release all their oils into the sugar.

It should look something like that and will smell deliciously minty. Next add 1 oz of hot water (about one shot glass full) to your sugar/mint mixture. Essentially what your doing here is making your own mint-infused simple syrup. Make sure all the sugar dissolves in the hot water.

Next grab the glass you want to drink your cocktail from and add some ice cubes. Pour two shots of your reposado over the ice. Add in your sugar/mint/water mixture and give it a stir to incorporate it. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Sip responsibly. Cheers!

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