Julep season is here. It’s that balmy time of year when you can make magic with four ingredients—sugar, mint, ice, and brown liquor—that, in a chilly silver cup, add up to something as simple but profound as a skillet of cornbread or a stockpot of long-cooked collard greens.
In 2013, the julep-sipping city of Louisville officially declared April Mint Julep Month. From April 4 to May 4, 2019, you can join the celebration of the classic Southern cocktail with Garden & Gun, Maker’s Mark, and the many partner bars found on MintJulepMonth.com that are serving specialty juleps. This year, participants are encouraged to create environmental change by eliminating the use of plastic straws in their drinks. Beyond the straw, Mint Julep Month signals the start of Maker’s Mark’s Cocktails for Cleanups initiative to remove trash from the world’s oceans and waterways, one pound at a time. Consumers can help the cause by using #CocktailsforCleanups on social media.
Raise a glass to julep season with a classic mint julep (muddle together 2 parts Maker’s Mark bourbon, ½ part simple syrup, and a fresh mint sprig in a julep cup, then top with a dome of crushed ice) or try one of the four unique spins on the cocktail below from a group of the best bourbon wranglers in the country: Kristina Magro (Chicago), Alex Negranza (Houston), Darlin Kulla (D.C.), and Jayce McConnell (Charleston, South Carolina).
Cocktail #1: Bless Your Heart
A spoonful of blueberry jam and an extra herb in the muddle help this julep go down.
Cocktail #2: The Golden Gait Julep
Bring a splash of bubbly to the party with this cocktail’s key ingredient: champagne syrup.
Cocktail #3: Sparkleberry Mint Julep
Tart up your julep with a splash of blackberry sauce and a squeeze of lemon.
Cocktail #4: Carthusian Julep
Your new secret ingredient: a liqueur made by monks that is also available at your local grocery store.
Mint Julep Month: Bless Your Heart Julep
A spoonful of blueberry jam and an extra herb in the muddle help this julep go down
Food & Drink
Mint Julep Month: Carthusian Julep
Your new secret ingredient: a liqueur made by monks that is also available at your local grocery store
Mint Julep Month: Sparkleberry Mint Julep
Tart up your julep with a splash of blackberry sauce and a squeeze of lemon
Food & Drink
The Mad Scientist of Pawpaws
Largely the domain of foragers, the biggest edible fruit in the South has mostly been forgotten. A quietly obsessed Quaker from West Virginia has made it his life’s mission to change that
Food & Drink
How an Award-Winning Pastry Chef Doctors Up Boxed Cornbread
Even Kelly Fields whips up a box of Jiffy every once in a while. Here’s how she makes the store-bought stuff her own
Arts & Culture
The Top-of-2021 Reading List for Southerners
G&G contributors, editors, and Southern book lovers share new releases and old favorites to read right away this year—and a couple forthcoming releases already on preorder