The classic cocktail is traditionally made by combining bourbon, mint and simple syrup —which is just a fancy name for water mixed with sugar—and serving it over crushed ice in a silver julep cup. However, if you’re planning to pull out your seersucker suit and get in on the fun this weekend, consider mixing up our new favorite Derby Day drink, The Mandarin Mint Julep from Beautiful Booze, instead. The citrusy drink comes in right at the 280 calorie mark—about the same as the traditional cocktail—however, more than half of the calories and just about all of the sugar come from fresh mandarins (AKA tangerines) instead of heaping spoonfuls of blood sugar-raising sugar.
Plus, thanks to the inclusion of fresh fiber-filled fruit, just one of these flavor-packed drinks is sure to satisfy your taste buds and quell your hunger so you won’t feel the need to go back for seconds. Cutting yourself off after one will not only save you calories, but also help you make smarter diet decisions in the face of tempting Derby Day party spreads. Convinced? Here’s how to mix it up:
1.5 ounces of bourbon
8 mint leaves
3 mandarin oranges, juiced
1 mandarin orange, segmented
1/2 mandarin orange, segmented (for garnish)
1 cup of ice, crushed
How to Make It
Step 1: In a mixing glass add bourbon, mint, mandarin orange juice, and mandarin orange segments. Muddle mixture.
Step 2: Add crushed ice to serving glass.
Step 3: Strain bourbon, mint and mandarin mixture into serving glass.
Step 4: Garnish with mint, and fresh mandarin orange segments.
Recipe courtesy of Beautiful Booze.