The Debutante Cocktail

Meet the julep’s bubbly cousin—a signature cocktail at Charleston’s newest champagne bar

Photo: Jacqueline Stofsick

“The base to this cocktail is the classic julep,” says Steven Huddleston, beverage manager at Camellias, a champagne bar in Charleston’s newly-opened Hotel Bennett. “Many people assume that the history of the mint julep started at the Kentucky Derby, but it actually originated in Virginia, where it was classically made with rum and brandy. We decided to elevate the standard julep by switching out the historical brandy base for cognac and topping it with champagne.”


    • 1¾ oz. Hennessey Cognac

    • ¼ oz. simple syrup

    • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

    • 4-6 mint leaves

    • About 2 oz. champagne

    • For garnish: orange peel, mint


  1. Combine cognac, syrup, bitters, and mint in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir to combine and chill. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or champagne glass. Top with champagne. Garnish with a rolled orange peel rose (secured by a pick) and more mint leaves.

Recipe from Steven Huddleston of Camellias in Charleston, South Carolina