Updated November 13, 2014
cups water, divided
tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Combine 3/4 cup water, sugar and whole mint leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just to a simmer, then reduce to low and cook 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; cool 20 minutes, then remove mint leaves.
In a shallow baking pan, combine remaining water, bourbon and chopped mint. Add mint-sugar mixture and stir to combine. Place in freezer, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or overnight.
The next day, lightly scrape the icy mixture with fork tines. Scoop into serving glasses; garnish with more mint, if desired.
*For a non-alcoholic version, swap the bourbon for ginger ale or lemon-lime soda.
4 Hacks to Make Slushies at Home
Pst, you can make slushies at home without any special equipment. We’ve detailed the techniques and rounded up our favorite recipes.
Chef Name: Food Network KitchenFull Recipe Name: Watermelon Lemonade SlushieTalent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Network Kitchenâs Watermelon Lemonade Slushie, as seen on Foodnetwork.comProject: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTAShow Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Watermelon Lemonade Slushie Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Network Kitchen’s Watermelon Lemonade Slushie, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network
Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Is it really summer without a cool slushie to slurp? Whether you’re sipping it outside on a sunny day, or during family movie night, we’ve got some great tips to DIY without a giant machine that cranks out enough slush for two baseball teams. In fact, there are a number of different easy ways to make slushies, depending on the equipment you have at home.
First, the basics: to make slushies, you’ll typically need to combine and freeze liquid and some sort of sugary ingredient like fruit juice or agave syrup. Most recipes call for eight parts liquid to two parts sweetener. Bookmark this ratio to dream up your own slushie creations. Sometimes, recipes will call for frozen fruit in addition to liquid and sweetener. Note that slushies don’t contain any milk however, using booze as your liquid is no problem (it’ll just take longer to freeze since alcohol has a low freezing point).
If you have a blender, you can transfer your frozen ingredients to it and whir them up until a smooth slush mixture forms. For some inspiration, turn to this Watermelon Lemonade Slushie (pictured above), which involves freezing watermelon cubes and blending them up with homemade basil syrup. Or this Sangria Slushie recipe, in which you blend up wine ice cubes, frozen fruit and a sugary liquor mixture. You can also get creative and make your own blend the key is to use a low-pulp fruit (say no to oranges, unless you strain the pulp out).
What is a Mint Julep?
This Mint Julep recipe is a copycat of the non-alcoholic Mint Julep served in New Orleans Square at Disneyland. A traditional Mint Julep is a cocktail made with bourbon, mint, water, and sugar. It is a popular drink in the southern United States where it was once thought to have medicinal properties. The Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938.
Disneyland created a non-alcoholic version of the Mint Julep to bring a taste of the South to New Orleans Square. This version incorporates fresh lemon and lime flavors with mint over ice. It has become one of Disneyland’s most famous drinks. In addition to the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square, you can also order these delicious drinks at the Blue Bayou Restaurant, Cafe Orleans, and the French Market which are all located in New Orleans Square in Disneyland.
Fresh Mint Slushie
This fresh mint slushie, given some body with a hit of cucumber, is great with or without alcohol (bourbon, vodka, gin, arak or ouzo–any of these are great). Serve the mint slushie for a twist on the mint julep for the Kentucky Derby, and then all summer long for a fabulous barbecue party drink.
Admittedly, my focus on our Kentucky Derby snack table has always had far less to do with the drink thank it has the handfuls of snack. Think licorice Scottie dogs, not hummus and talami.
Which is ironic, given how mint-crazy we are here and how few—if any—mint juleps we’ve actually imbibed.
I was especially intrigued when I was gifted with a cocktail book that claims the origins of the mint julep far far from Kentucky, and situates it directly in the Middle East. Any quick search online traces it clearly: Julep derives from the Persian gulab and the Arabic julab.
The early drinks were to do with rose water, and always to do with refreshment.
Here’s my take on a good Derby drink: Just a good handful of mint, cucumber for extra-freshness and body, lemonade and ice. Don’t worry, there’s no dram of rose water here—but a dram of bourbon will do just fine.
Six twists on the mint julep to try during Derby season, and all summer long
The mint julep is one of our favorite spring and summer cocktails, especially during Derby season. All you need is a great bottle of bourbon, some sugar and mint, and a ice-smashing deviche and you're good to go.
But while we love these classic flavors, we’re always interested in learning new ways to drink a julep. Here are six of our favorites to keep you on the julep train throughout the summer.
Pineapple Mint Julep
Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality, so it’s fitting to incorporate it into just about any Southern cocktail, especially when its done in an elegant way. This cocktail from How Sweet Eats skips the pineapple chunks, and instead whips up a pineapple mint puree to mix into the cocktail. How sweet is that?
Get the recipe
Mint Julep Granita
Not quite a slushie, but not as firm as a sorbet, a granita is a crushed ice dish that will cool you down during a hot happy hour — a perfect summertime snack. If you’re planning a Kentucky Derby party, try this recipe from Saveur. It can be made and frozen ahead of time, so you can just have to scoop and serve it in a chilled glass when it’s time to dig in.
Get the recipe
Sweet Tea Mint Julep
Or perhaps you'd like to enjoy the delightful marriage of two of the South’s signature drinks: sweet tea and the mint julep. This recipe acknowledges the fact that traditional mint juleps may be too intense for some palates, and that adding sweet tea to the equation ensures a smoother experience. Of course, it still preserves the signature aromatics of bourbon and mint.
Get the recipe
Mint Julep Sorbet
This take on a mint julep brings it back to the frozen side. This creamy sorbet from Baking Bites has a bright mint flavor with a perfect hint of bourbon that's perfect for any time you don't feel like actually drinking a cocktail. You can serve this mix right out of the blender, but for a scoopable version, pop it into the freezer for a few hours before serving.
Get the recipe
Derby Pie Julep
Drink your dessert with cocktail twist on the classic Kentucky chocolate and nut pie. After all, if these flavors work in a pie, why wouldn’t they work in a cocktail? To do so, 10th Kitchen created an easy pecan-cocoa syrup to mix with bourbon and ice that truly takes the julep to the next level.
Get the recipe
Cherry Mint Julep Slushies
For a sippable but still frozen take, try a julep slushie, like this one from How Sweet Eats. We love that this recipe not only highlights the flavors of a classic mint julep, but it also incorporates cherry and lime — the ultimate summer flavor combination.
Get the recipe
Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.
Mocktail Recipes Everyone Will Love
If you’re cutting back on alcohol or giving up drinking for Dry January, because you’re expecting or simply because you’re looking to be a bit healthier, you may think you’re in for sipping seltzer and juice while your friends enjoy stiff cocktails and delicious drinks. But that just isn't the case. There are tons of satisfying, fun mixed drinks you can make without a lick of alcohol in them. These zero-alcohol cocktails – also known as mocktails – are so good, you won’t miss the booze.
Blackberry Mint Julep
What could be more refreshing than a mint julep on a summer evening? Add some of the season’s best blackberries, and you’re really in for a treat. Since juleps are always served over a full glass of crushed ice, it’s sort of like a boozy berry slushie.
Now, here is everything I know about juleps:
- The ice must be crushed, not cubed – luckily you can do this in your blender.
- You are supposed to serve it in a sterling silver julep cup so sue me, I don’t happen to own any of those. I used a glass double-walled Bodum glass because of all the crushed ice and the ensuing coldness.
- If you drink more than one julep you will probably be at the least a little tipsy. They go down nice and smooth, but are really just booze slushies. Which is surprising, because according to Wikipedia, Virginians used to drink them in the morning. Whoa. , a steakhouse in London, has an entire menu of different kinds of juleps, which is weird, because I don’t usually associate British people with julepry.
- Julepry is not a word, but it should be.
In case you are wondering, my four favorite mixing bourbons are, in no particular order: Four Roses, Bulleit, Buffalo Trace, and Elijah Craig.
Recipe: Blackberry Mint Juleps
makes 3-4, depending on your glass size
Memorial Day Mint Julep
It’s more than just alliteration it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.
Some drinks are just meant to be slowly sipped on a warm summer day, and since Memorial Day is unofficially the calendar kick-off for summer, start your extra-long weekend with this classic, cooling Mint Julep. With smooth bourbon finding its herbaceous counterpoint in the soft sweetness of fresh mint, it makes for a refreshing addition to summer’s first backyard cookout.
Mint-infused simple syrup is combined with Southern whiskey, and the mixture is frozen until it has a slushy consistency. When ready to serve, rim each glass with sugar for a frosted appearance and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Sip a chilled glass of this summertime tipple at this weekend’s Memorial Day ‘cue.
Barbecue drinks recipes
Complete your barbecue with our colourful summer drinks. Try a boozy fruit punch pitcher, a refreshing cordial or a classic sangria recipe.
A true taste of summer, serve this fruity punch with fresh mint leaves, cucumber, orange and strawberries
Embrace balmy summer days with a jug of sangria. With red wine, Spanish brandy, sparkling water, cinnamon and chopped fruit, it's a lovely sharing cocktail
Homemade ginger beer
Enjoy this fiery ginger beer at a family barbecue or pour into a bottle for a picnic. It's made by cooking up a ginger cordial and topping up with soda water
Make a jug of refreshing mojitos to share, so you can spend more time with your guests. Try our three twists on this classic cocktail, too
Watermelon prosecco sorbet slushies
What better way to end a garden party than with a cocktail/sorbet combo? These watermelon prosecco slushies are refreshing with a real kick
Michelada (Mexican beer cocktail)
On a warm summer evening start the weekend with an easy Mexican-inspired cocktail
Easy iced tea
Make up a jug of refreshing iced tea to serve on summer days. With a subtle tea flavour, oranges, lemons and mint, it's an excellent alcohol-free party drink
Watermelon & strawberry slushie
What's more refreshing than eating a slice of cool watermelon on a hot summer's day? Drinking our iced fruit slushie!
Really easy lemonade
Try our easy recipe for homemade lemonade, using fresh lemon juice and sugar. A simple classic that everyone can enjoy on a hot summer's day.
Apple prosecco punch
Spritz up a basic apple cocktail with a dash of prosecco and a splash of vodka
Homemade pink lemonade
Mix up a jug of this refreshing, still, cloudy lemonade made from zingy lemons and plump raspberries
Cool off this summer with our super-simple frozen margarita recipe. This refreshing tequila cocktail can be made in just five minutes in a blender
Melon & cucumber punch
Perfectly ripe Galia melon, orange liqueur and Pimm's pump this punch with summery flavour
Cool down with this frozen spin on the classic Brazilian Caipirinha. The secret is squeezing as much lime into the sugar as you can
Whisky cocktails don’t come much more refreshing than a mint julep. Serve over mounds of crushed ice and top with freshly picked garden mint
Blueberry & mint iced tea
Refreshing and fruity, this delicious drink is guaranteed to please at a family picnic, barbecue or party
Add an extra fruity twist to this classic summer drink with pomegranate juice and seeds - double up the quantities to please a crowd
Shivi Ramoutar's recipe for this classic Caribbean cocktail combines sweet and sour flavours for a fruity weekend tipple
Mix up a refreshing strawberry mojito to sip in the summer sun. This easy, fruity cocktail is perfect for barbecue season or a relaxed party with friends
Coconut & pineapple cooler
Enjoy this crowd-pleasing tropical cocktail with coconut rum, gin and pineapple juice. It will sit happily in an ice bucket for several hours, ideal for summer barbecues
Elderflower & cucumber G&Ts
This delicately coloured, refreshing take on the classic gin and tonic makes a perfect picnic tipple
Homemade elderflower cordial
Fragrant and refreshing, springtime elderflower cordial is easy to make. Mix with sparkling water to create elderflower pressé, or add to wine, prosecco or champagne to start a party in style
How to Make Homemade Boozy Slushies This Summer
Iced tea? Lemonade? Cucumber water? Puh-lease. These refreshing drinks have nothing on a boozy summertime slushie. While turning your favorite classic cocktails into frozen treats may seem like a bar-exclusive luxury, John Roberts, bartender and owner of The Bushwick Country Club and The Starlight, shows us how simple it is to make these hot weather cocktails within the comforts of your own home. All you really need is some ice…and lots of it.
A few important Roberts-approved tips and tricks before you get started:
- A slushie machine is an amazing investment, but not necessary. The constant rotation obviously helps to keep the drink’s temperature and consistency stable, but you can create quick, on-the-go alternatives with a basic blender.
- Use inverted sugar. The sweet ingredient works as an antifreeze to maintain an ideal viscosity. This helps to achieve the desirable “fluffy crystals” in a slushie, as opposed to larger ice chunks.
- Opt for alcohols with higher proofs (as if this is ever a bad thing). Like inverted sugar, it will also help to act as an antifreeze when blended.
- Ice is going to be primarily responsible for finding the perfect balance in taste and texture. Start with equal parts of the ingredients and add a bunch of ice. If you want the drink stronger, add more booze. If you want the drink more diluted, add more ice.
- Don’t fear the use of carbonated beverages. They can maintain their bubbles if they’re not overpowered by the alcohol content. Here’s where ice can work to your advantage again. Rather than adding more of a specific ingredient to tone flavors down, simply add more ice.
Ready to give things a go? Feel free to try one of Roberts’ quick and easy recipes in the video above (Jim Beam and Coke, Sweet Tea and Vodka, Mint Julep, Frozen Negroni) or give one of our frozen cocktails or summertime slushies a shot.