Meet the Southside

A refreshing rum-and-mint sipper for the horse-country set

Photo: Margaret Houston

Nothing against juleps, but horse-racing season has plenty of room for other cocktails. In Maryland, equestrian fans prefer a different mint-garnished sipper during the spring steeplechase months—it’s called the Southside. Baltimore’s Elkridge Club helped popularize the cocktail, but Old Line State tailgaters whip up their own versions everywhere from amateur races to the Preakness.

Doug Atwell, bartender at Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey in Baltimore, has studied the Southside and its many individual incarnations. “I discovered that the local variation is predominately rum in place of gin in most Maryland circles, and then sometimes both lemon and lime juice,” he says. “Personally, I believe gin and lime veer into Rickey territory, so when given the reins, I steer toward rum, lemon, and mint in a Southside.”


    • 2 oz. white rum

    • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice

    • 3/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1 water to sugar)

    • 1 generous sprig of mint


  1. With ice, shake the first three ingredients and 4 to 6 mint leaves from the lower portion of the sprig, saving the top portion. Double strain liquid into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the remaining sprig of mint.

Recipe from Doug Atwell of Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey in Baltimore