Bufala Negra

An Italian Twist on the Mint Julep

Photo: Garnish Photography

Between long lines and frustrated fellow travelers, air travel is often a less-than-desirable experience these days. But passengers flying through Atlanta can always count on at least one bright spot: One Flew South. Since 2008, the restaurant and bar has been bringing an inspired mix of Southern standards (pimento cheese, Benton’s bacon BLTs), sushi, and craft cocktails to Hartsfield-Jackson International’s Terminal E.

In settings noted for generic food and drink served to a captive audience, One Flew South is, by wide acclaim, the best airport bar in America. Its menu is well stocked with classics—“Most people stick to ordering what they know,” says lead bartender Devon Eagle—but each comes with an upgrade. The Bellini includes fresh ginger syrup; the Singapore Sling incorporates juice from the bar’s house-made cocktail cherries; the Brandy Alexander adds Drambuie, the Scotch-and-honey liqueur. The same goes for One Flew South’s Bufala Negra. It’s an Italian twist on the Mint Julep, using basil instead of mint and a rich but simple-to-make balsamic syrup.

“Airport bars definitely have their advantages and disadvantages,” Eagle says. Business is steady—there’s no shortage of thirsty travelers at an airport—but getting to work can be a hassle. “I forgot my badge last week at home and had to take the train all the way back so I ended up being an hour late,” she says. “You just have to worry about different things.”

Thankfully, with this recipe, you don’t need to run the TSA gauntlet—or even have a boarding pass—to enjoy a One Flew South cocktail.


    • 1 sugar cube

    • 4 basil leaves (plus more for garnish)

    • 1/2 oz. Balsamic Syrup*

    • 1 1/2 oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon

    • Ginger beer


  1. In a shaker, muddle the sugar cube, basil, and Balsamic Syrup. Add the bourbon, fill with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a basil leaves.

  2. *To make the Balsamic Syrup, combine equal parts balsamic vinegar, water, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves completely, about 1 minute. Let cool completely before using.

Cocktail recipe by Devon Eagle of One Flew South in Atlanta, Georgia