RECIPES: Mint julep and botanical spritz

Author of 'Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned' shares her favorite recipes

HOUSTON – You don't have to travel all the way to Kentucky to sip a great mint julep, because a Houston native knows the secret to this refreshing drink and so many other great southern cocktails.

Her name is Alba Huerta, and she is the owner of Julep, a nationally acclaimed cocktail bar on Washington Avenue. She stopped by our studio to share two recipes from her book “Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned” before her big Julep Derby Day Party 2019 on Saturday, May 4.

See the recipes below.

Mint julep

Ingredients:
•    10 mint leaves
•    Half an ounce of turbinado syrup
•    2 ounces mid-80s-to-90 proof bourbon
•    Julep cup
•    Straw
•    Ice, crushed
•    2 or 3 mint sprigs for garnish
•    Powdered sugar for garnish

Directions:
Place the mint leaves and syrup in the julep cup and lightly press with a muddler. Leave the muddler in the glass and add the bourbon, pouring it over the muddler to rinse it off. Stir with the muddler to mix. Fill the cup a little more than halfway with crushed ice and stir with a bar spoon 15-20 times. Add more ice to form a dome on top. Place the straw in the cup.

To garnish, press the mint sprigs between your fingers to release their aroma and tuck them into the ice next to the straw. Dust the mint sprigs with the powdered sugar.

Botanical spritz

Ingredients:
•    1 ounce Ketel One Grapefruit and Rose Botanicals
•    2 ounces Ramona
•    Half an ounce of watermelon puree
•    Fill with Mumm Rosé
•   One grapefruit peel and mint sprig

Directions:
Build in a glass, combine ingredients and garnish with a grapefruit peel and mint sprig

Recipes provided by Alba Huerta.