The Berry Cobbler Mint Julep

A couple of weeks ago, on a rare date night with my husband (we have a two-year-old, after all), we were strolling around downtown Lexington all footloose and fancy free when I noticed a "new" mural on an old, familiar wall, only to be informed it has been there for a long time.  Like I said, I don't get out much.

Herekut Mural on Market Street;   2012 Lexington Mural Project

Herekut Mural on Market Street; 2012 Lexington Mural Project

My eyes drifted around the corner, to the front of the building, and straight into Belle's Cocktail House. True to the hip and cool image we were portraying after we ditched the decidedly un-cool mini-van in a parking lot, we decided to go inside and check it out.  I assumed the name had a connection to Lexington's infamous Belle Brezing, on whom the character Belle Watlingin "Gone with the Wind" was modeled.  Much to my delight, the portrait of Belle Brezing hanging in the downstairs bar confirmed this connection.

Gatewood's Manhattan caught my eye.  I loved Gatewood Galbraith and a Manhattan is my favorite drink. The perfect marriage. (Okay...I must confess I asked the bartender to drop most of the liquid smoke since I dislike smoke flavor.  I felt guilty about it, but reassured myself that Gatewood would tell me to do whatever the heck I wanted.)  

Although not on the menu, our bartender told us about Belle's own Josh Naylor's prize winning Berry Cobbler Mint Julep, People’s Choice Winner 2014 Four Roses Mint Julep Competition.  He had me at "berry cobbler."  If you're looking for a new julep recipe or find yourself in Belle's neighborhood, I highly recommend this delicious beauty.  (It may not be on the menu, so be sure to ask for it.)

The Berry Cobbler Mint Julep Recipe

People’s Choice Winner 2014 Four Roses Mint Julep Competition

(Published by The Bourbon Review)

Recipe by Josh Naylor of Belle’s Cocktail House (Lexington, KY)

Ingredients

  • 15-20 mint leaves (depending on size)
  • 8-10 blueberries (depending on size)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • .75 oz blackberry simple syrup
  • .25 oz vanilla cinnamon simple syrup
  • 1.75 oz Four Roses Small Batch
  • Crushed ice
  • Plum bitters
  • Mint sprig (for garnish)
  • Lemon twist (for garnish)

Preparation

Add mint leaves, blueberries and the juice of a 1/4 of a lemon into the bottom of a double rocks glass. Gently muddle just enough to break up the blueberries and release the oils of the mint. Add the blackberry syrup, vanilla cinnamon syrup and the bourbon directly into the glass. Fill halfway with crushed ice. With a bar spoon stir the contents in order to pull the muddled ingredients up away from the bottom of the glass. Fill the rest of the way with crushed ice mounding it as much as possible. Add 1-2 dashes of plum bitters on top of mounded ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and fresh sprig of mint.

Vanilla Cinnamon Simple Syrup

In a sauce pan add 16 oz. light brown sugar, 16 oz. distilled water, 1 whole vanilla bean split in half, 1 whole cinnamon stick and 1 whole allspice berry. Bring all ingredients to a boil making sure to stir constantly in order to help the sugar completely dissolve and not burn. Once a boil has been reached, reduce heat to a simmer. Let the liquid reduce by half (about 30 minutes) stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain into a resealable container or storm pourer ready for use.

Blackberry Simple Syrup

In a sauce pan add 16 oz. light brown sugar, 16 oz. distilled water, 8 oz. fresh blackberries and 1/4 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg. Bring all ingredients to a boil making sure to stir constantly in order to help the sugar completely dissolve and not burn. Also use the spoon you are stirring with to help break up the berries and release their juice. Once a boil has been reached, reduce heat to a simmer. Let the liquid reduce by half (about 30 minutes) stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain (making sure to press the berries to get out all the liquid leaving nothing but the seeds and pulp in the strainer) into a resealable container or storm pourer ready for use.

Derby At Belle's

The Bourbon Review is hosting its first annual Bourbon Review Derby Party,  Derby At Belle's. $30 tickets include brunch with Wild Eggs, 3 drinks and giveaways for best Derby Hat and Dapper Dressed Guy.  Proceeds go toward the Friends of the Lexington Mounted Police.  

The Bourbon Lover's Wish List

Every Kentuckian has at least one bourbon lover on her holiday shopping list. 

Now, in theory, shopping for the bourbon lover is easy. You stop by the corner liquor store, and mark one present off the list. But, it doesn't really work that way. You can either pick up a tried-and-true favorite, or risk a flavor profile that doesn't suit the recipient. You sure aren't going to be able to find a bottle of Pappy anywhere. And the bourbon accessories that have sprung up in recent years are a tricky business as well. Bourbon lovers are very precise in their enjoyment of the spirit -- whisky stones and rocks glasses are the impetus for a million debates.  Loving bourbon is a serious business, y'all.
I want that julep cup!

If you're shopping for a bourbon lover this year, why not give the gift of knowledge? The Bourbon Review is a quarterly, Lexington-based magazine that explores all things bourbon. From cocktail reviews to recipes to tasting notes, TBR is a must-have for anyone seeking the full Bourbon Experience. It's one of those magazines like Garden and Gun or Southern Living that I just can't wait to find in my mailbox. It's a fantastic gift for the bourbon lover in your life!

The guys at The Bourbon Review have graciously offered a one-year subscription to The Bourbon Review and a t-shirt from their Bourbon Outfitter merchandise line to one lucky HerKentucky reader. Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The contest runs through midnight on Friday the 14th, and a winner will be announced on Saturday.

Cheers and Good Luck!

Edited: Congratulations to Townsley M., the winner of this giveaway!!!

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