Down here in the South, we have an appreciation for all things spirited. Thick salt rims line our frosty margarita glasses. Cracked black pepper seeps down into our bright Bloody Marys. A splash — or two — of bourbon often makes its way into our afternoon teas. And there’s nothing quite as quintessentially Southern as a fragrant mint julep over some crushed, whiskey-soaked ice.
Austin bars and restaurants have concocted some of the state’s most admired Southern cocktails, and with the approach of National Mint Julep Day on May 30, we decided to celebrate the popular bourbon beverage.
Read on to find out where you can grab a glass of our favorite Austin mint juleps:
Using Austin-based 9 Banded Whiskey, Hotel Ella’s gorgeous, Southern-centric Goodall’s Kitchen prepares a classic mint julep. Muddling the mint leaves, the bar adds a liquid concoction of simple syrup, lime juice, club soda, and whiskey to create this tasty cocktail.
Leave it up to recent newcomer Small Victory to shake it up with its drinks. The industry respected Seventh Street bar offers a curated wine list, local brews, and classic cocktails, including the mint julep. Using fresh mint leaves, simple syrup, and Kentucky bourbon from makers like Medley Brothers, the team prepares a stellar glass of this Southern juice.
This Congress Avenue cocktail lounge — and recent winner of our Tastemaker Bar of the Year award — forgoes tradition and embraces a reconstructed mint beverage with the use of rum. The Townsend’s Reconstruction Julep, a playful rift on a classic drink, is made with Mount Gay's black barrel rum, Paul Beau VS Cognac, mint leaves, and sugar.
Proof & Cooper
We love our Texas peaches, and Driftwood’s Proof & Cooper has infused this juicy fruit with its mint julep creation called The Governor. Honoring all the tenets of a traditional mint julep, Proof & Cooper then pours in a Buffalo Trace Bourbon mixed with a house-made peach and habanero infusion.
Searsucker Executive Chef Brian Malarkey’s hobby as a race track photographer has designated him a mint julep fiend. Every year, the chef attends the famed Kentucky Derby, where the mint julep has risen to renowned acclaim and prominence over the years. Searsucker offers a traditional mint julep on its menu as well as a lovely blackberry julep, made with bourbon, mint, blackberries, and crushed ice.
Celebrated for its upscale Southern fare, Fixe also mixes up its share of fabulous cocktails. Like Searsucker, Fixe too prepares a blackberry-based mint julep. Embracing local sourcing, the restaurant uses berries from Oak Hill Farms to create its own blackberry syrup in the drink. Old Forester bourbon and a mint simple syrup are also featured in the popular libation.
Employing a revolutionary approach to this Southern staple, Swift’s Attic has made its very own apple mint julep. Baked apple bitters, mint syrup, and Maker’s Mark bring this unexpected beverage to life.