While it’s certainly hard to beat the classic mint julep—whether you’re sipping one at the Derby next Saturday or just on your deck—a drink that has been around at least a couple of hundred years is bound to have spawned all kinds of variations. Granted, the last place we thought we’d find a great twist on the julep was New York City. But lo and behold, while investigating the Southern invasion of NYC for our April/May 2010 City Portrait, there it was, like a shining red beacon amid the skyscrapers. It tasted so refreshing, we even put it on our cover.
Judging by the calls and letters we’ve received from readers, many of you were as taken with this frozen concoction as we were. So we asked the restaurant that invented it, Tipsy Parson in Chelsea, to divulge the recipe. The restaurant has the benefit of a frozen-drink machine, but this home version requires only a blender and a little extra prep time to make the grape reduction (that’s right, grapes!). For those of you who recoil in horror at such julep tinkering, try this classic recipe. Either way, you’ll be in good spirits for Derby Day.