Mint Julep Month: Sparkleberry Mint Julep

Tart up your julep with a splash of blackberry sauce and a squeeze of lemon

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

When a talented bartender like Darlin Kulla works side by side with a world-class kitchen staff, delicious things happen—like this cocktail, made with a blackberry sauce from the dessert menu at Succotash in D.C. “I find that the sweetness of the berries is a great pairing for the mint in the julep,” Kulla says. “We use champagne to brighten the cocktail and add an extra layer of fun.”


  • for the cocktail

    • 1½ oz. Maker's Mark® bourbon

    • 1 tbsp. blackberry sauce (see recipe below)

    • ¼ oz. lemon juice

    • ½ oz. demerara sugar

    • Pebble ice

    • Splash Champagne or other dry sparkling wine

    • 10 mint leaves

    • 2 blackberries

    • Mint sprig

  • For Blackberry Sauce (yield enough for 4 drinks)

    • 3 pints blackberries

    • ½ cup sugar

    • ½ cup maple syrup

    • Juice of 2 lemons


  1. For the Cocktail: 

    Muddle bourbon, blackberry sauce, lemon juice, and demerara sugar. Swizzle with crushed ice. Top with a splash of Champagne. Top with more pebble ice, forming a nice dome. Garnish with blackberries and a mint sprig.

  2. For the Blackberry Sauce:

    Mix all ingredients until smooth.

Meet the bartender

Recipe from Darlin Kulla of Succotash in Washington, D.C.

Want more juleps?
See other specialty mint julep recipes and learn more about Mint Julep Month here.