Grapefruit Mint Julep

It is summer in Santa Monica.

I don’t know how it happened, but we kind of skipped spring and went straight for the dog days.  And I’ve quickly realized that I’ve become so accustomed to the 70 degree and sunny norm that I have almost nothing to wear on days when its 95.

Not that I want to wear anything at all.  I’d be happy sitting in my underwear on our stoop with a iced down cocktail in my hand.

Which brings me to today’s cocktail recipe…

Tomorrow is the 140th Anniversary of the Kentucky Derby.  This means very little to me, except I know there are horses, hats and bourbon cocktails involved.  I grew up outside of Baltimore, where one of the other three horse races of the Triple Crown is held – Preakness – and one summer I went.  We didn’t wear hats, I think we were drinking Natty Lite (?!), and I can’t even tell you if I actually saw a horse.

Obviously we were doing it very, very wrong.

I still have never gotten into the “greatest two minutes in sports”, but I very much enjoy big hats and I also really enjoy fancy bourbon cocktails.  So to cool me down for the weekend, mint juleps it is, Kentucky!

I muddled the mint with the sugar. I cursed myself for not having crushed ice. I used the last of the true Kentucky Bourbon from my bar.

grapefruit mint julep recipe

It was delicious and beautiful.

grapefruit mint julep recipe

Then I decided I wanted something different.

So I threw it all back in the shaker with a little bit of grapefruit juice from the grapefruits I stripped for their peels the other day…

grapefruit mint julep

And I went out onto my back stoop in my sundress and flip flops, and I enjoyed the tiny bit of a breeze.

grapefruit mint julep

But then!  I realized what would make my drink complete.  A bright blue straw and a delicious candied grapefruit peel garnish.

grapefruit mint julep recipe



Make either version of this bourbon cocktail classic tomorrow for the big race.  And make sure when you drink it, you’re wearing your giant hat.


Mint Julep

2 oz Kentucky Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp water
5 sprigs mint

Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a julep or rocks glass.  Top with crushed ice and add bourbon.  Garnish with a mint spring.

Grapefruit Mint Julep

2 oz Kentucky Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp water
5 sprigs mint

Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a shaker.  Add Bourbon and grapefruit juice.  Pour into a collins glass. Garnish with a mint spring, candied grapefruit peel and a bright blue straw.  Sit out on your porch in a big hat and sip slowly.

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2 thoughts on “Grapefruit Mint Julep

    • Thank you! It was refreshing and just what I needed for a hot, hot afternoon. Next year, maybe I’ll have to get a few of your authentic cups to really get in the julep game!

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