Jersey Julep – Cocktail of the Week
Haskell Weekend is finally here, and whether you're braving the crowds to see American Pharoah at Monmouth Park or will be watching the festivities in the air-conditioned comfort of home, why not enjoy a festive cocktail to set the mood?
When you think of horse races and cocktails, there's one classic that comes to mind: the mint julep, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Since the Haskell is Jersey's answer to the Derby, let's serve up a Jersey Julep!
Jersey is not only home to the 'Blueberry Capital of the World," Hammonton, but also America's oldest distillery - Laird & Co. in Scobeyville (Colts Neck)!
We're combining them in one deliciously Jersey drink!
3 oz. Laird's Applejack
2 oz. blueberry simple syrup (recipe below)
fresh mint leaves
fresh mint sprigs
crushed ice (No exceptions -- cubes won't do!)
Blueberry simple syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbls. water
1/2 cup fresh Jersey blueberries
To make the blueberry syrup, gently heat the sugar, water, and blueberries just until the sugar melts and the berries cook down a bit. Pour the syrup through a fine strainer, using a spatula to push the mixture through and really get all the juice out of the berries, while keeping the straw-clogging clumps away! Let the syrup cool.
Now let's make the Julep!
Gently muddle a few fresh mint leaves with an ounce of the cooled blueberry syrup in a glass -- obviously a silver julep cup is best, if you have it! Add a bit of the crushed ice, then the Applejack and stir. Then pack the glass with more crushed ice, stir again, and top with a few fresh mint sprigs and a straw!
Juleps are really meant to be sipped slowly, but you may find yourself drinking these especially fast! Enjoy!