A Study in Pink

Strawberries, raspberries, and a little extra mint brighten up this summertime sipper

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

To craft A Study in Pink, Empire State South beverage director Kellie Thorn looked to her copy of The Happy Table of Eugene Walter: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink—a 2011 collection of short essays, witticisms, and more than three hundred spirit-forward recipes by the late bon vivant Eugene Walter, the pioneering Alabama-bred food writer and an early champion of Southern culinary traditions. “In the julep section of the book, Walter writes about a ‘ladies julep.’ It uses rum, rose petals, and strawberries,” Thorn says. “I don’t necessarily like to assign cocktails genders, but I love Walter’s simultaneously reverent and irreverent observations of Southern culture.”



  • For the cocktail:

    • 5 parts Maker's Mark® bourbon

    • 1 part macerated strawberry, raspberry, and mint syrup (recipe below)

    • 1 part Lustau® “Los Arcos” Amontillado Sherry

    • 1 part filtered water

  • For the garnish:

    • Ground pink peppercorns

    • Strawberry and raspberry castor sugar (recipe below)

    • Bouquet of mint leaves


  1. Combine syrup, sherry, water, and Maker’s Mark® bourbon in an 11-oz. collins glass or an 11-oz. julep cup. Fill the vessel up halfway with crushed ice. Stir until the outside of the vessel is frosted. Top with more crushed ice. Top crushed ice with a dusting of strawberry and raspberry castor sugar and ground pink peppercorns. Garnish with a bouquet of mint.

  2. For the strawberry, raspberry, and mint syrup: In a container (a mason jar works), combine 1 cup of chopped strawberries, 1 cup of chopped raspberries, and a handful of mint. Coat with sugar and allow to sit at room temperature until a syrup forms. Strain the syrup to remove any remaining fruit. Do not heat.

  3. For the strawberry and raspberry castor sugar: Castor sugar (also called baker’s sugar) is superfine but not powdered. To make the fruit-flavored castor sugar, place a handful of frozen organic berries into a clean coffee grinder and grind until it is the same consistency as the castor sugar. Mix the two ingredients. Use a small metal spoon to dust the top of the drink.

  4. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Meet the Bartender:

Kellie Thorn, the award-winning beverage director for chef Hugh Acheson’s restaurant group, got her start cracking open PBRs at college bars more than fifteen years ago, but her considerable talents quickly landed her in some of the best bars in the country. In 2010, she teamed up with Acheson to open Empire State South in Atlanta, where she developed the restaurant’s imaginative bar program with respectful nods to the classics.