Cinco de Derby

Guest post alert!!  I’m pulling double duty today as I have a guest post over at the Garnish blog (run by my fellow Boston cocktail blogger, Katie).  And as teaser, it’s Star Wars themed. We now return to our regularly scheduled program.


1 oz Bourbon [Woodford Reserve]
1 oz Reposado Tequila [Espolon]
1/2 oz Hot Honey Syrup*
1/4 oz Etrog Liqueur [Sukkah Hill Spirits]
1/4 oz Lime Juice
Few sprigs of Mint

Combine mint and honey syrup in a mixing glass.  Muddle gently.  Add remaining ingredients.  Shake with ice, strain into a julep cup filled with crushed ice (or an ice filled rocks glass).  Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

*if you don’t have hot honey syrup, regular honey syrup or simple syrup with a few dashes of hot sauce works too

I was struggling what to write about today.  It’s Cinco de Mayo, so a margarita of some sort is the obvious choice.  But it’s also the Kentucky Derby this weekend and Mint Juleps are in the air.  After much deliberation, I realized the answer was right in front of me.  It’s mashup time!

Cocktail Mashups first hit my radar when I participated in a Mixology Monday (RIP) with that theme.  My contribution was Maxi’s Ward (Maximillian Affair + Ward 8).  More recently,  I mashed up the Last Word with a Moscow Mule (Last Mule to Moscow) and with the Ward 8 (8th to Last Word) for the @wehavethelastword campaign last month.  So why not go back to that well one more time.

These are actually two wonderfully simple drinks.  The Julep is nothing more than booze, mint and some sugar – but damn is it tasty.  Meanwhile, the margarita is basically a sour with tequila as the base.  To combine them, I would need to bring in both the sweet and citrus notes that define each drink.  And maybe a little spice for good measure.

Since this was a mashup, I went all in on that idea and split the base between bourbon and tequila.  Lime juice played the citrus role, but I supplemented it with some Etrog Liqueur from Sukkah Hill Spirits.   They were nice enough to send me a sample, and this is a very intriguing spirit. Lemon is a big component, but there is a strong floral element with hints of lemon blossoms and lemon verbena throughout.  A slight sweetness anchors it all, much like the sweetness that underscores another traditional Margarita ingredient, Cointreau.  And since this was based partly on a julep, you know mint is involved.


Finally the heat.  This is where I bust out my secret weapon – Mike’s Hot Honey.  I’ve used this before in my Drop it Like it’s Hot Swizzle (yet another Mixology Monday theme), and it’s really fun in cocktails.  Classic honey sweetness with the perfect amount of heat, it brings a whole new dimension to the glass.  To incorporate it into the drink, I made a quick honey syrup using equal parts hot water and hot honey.

The Julerita is minty and malty on the nose.  Tequila and heat dominate the beginning of the sip, eventually yielding to the sweetness from the honey and bourbon.  The floral components of the etrog and mint keep things fresh, while citrus keeps you coming back for sip after sip.  The finish is dominated by the hot honey heat and bourbon sweetness, as the tequila pops up one last time on the swallow.  If you’re a fan of spicy food, this one is definitely for you.  Luckily the mint, citrus, and crushed ice make it pretty quaffable too.

As for naming, this one is pretty straight foward.  Mint Julep + Margarita = Julerita.  No need to over think it.

If you ever find yourself straddling to drinking “holidays”, don’t fret.  Step back, look at your options, and start frankensteining.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

2 thoughts on “Cinco de Derby

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