Ale-8 Minty Julep Slush

Sometimes it's just too hot outside for a cocktail.

Well, that may be a little bit of a stretch, but sometimes you want a cool, refreshing drink that isn't boozy.  Or something frozen, fun and unexpected for your younger guests or for those who don't imbibe. 

This summer, it seems I can't get enough

Diet Ale-8

.  Something about the smoothness, the velvety texture, and the gingery finish just works.  And, I'm always looking for ways to utilize the bumper crop of mint in my garden.  Put the two together, and you have the Minty Julep.

Recently, I was thinking about

all the reasons I love a mint julep

(not just on Derby!), and realized that my summertime obsessions could be put to good use.  My spearmint is strong enough to stand up to the bright ginger of the Ale-8, and slushy ice is always a good thing.  These are great all summer long, and would be a fantastic alternative to a bourbon drink for your Derby party next spring.

Ale-8 "Minty Julep" Slush

2- 12 oz. bottles Ale-8-One or Diet Ale-8

1 to 2 cups ice

Several sprigs of mint

Pour one bottle of Ale-8 in a saucepan and add two or three sprigs of mint.  Bring to a boil until reduced by about half.  Strain and let cool completely.

Add a cup or so of ice to a food processor (or one of those fancy margarita machines, if you have one) and blend until slushy.   

For a mint julep-style mocktail

: Serve immediately, fill 8oz glasses with ice, pour cooled simple syrup over ice, and garnish with remaining mint sprigs. (You may want to add a little additional Ale-8, to taste.)

For a slushier drink:

Pour syrup and a cup or so of the crushed ice into a freezer bag.  Let freeze several hours or overnight.

Of course, if you want to add a little kick, that would be good, too...

I love those purse-sized bottles!