The South's Original Julep

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From Garden & Gun

As a thirteen-year veteran of the Houston cocktail scene, Alba Huerta has plenty of classic drinks in her repertoire. These days, however, she is particularly focused on the julep, the cocktail lending its name to her upcoming establishment, set to open this spring. Her antebellum version hews closely to the early-nineteenth-century Southern julep, historically made with cognac and rum instead of bourbon, though hers includes a touch of sorghum syrup in place of simple syrup for an extra hit of flavor.

SEE MORE: Concord Grape Mint Julep Recipe

Bartender: Alba Huerta
The Bar: Anvil Bar & Refuge


8–10 mint leaves
2 bar spoons of sorghum syrup
2 oz. cognac
½ oz. Jamaica rum
Mint sprig
Powdered sugar

Photographs by Jack Thompson


In a julep cup, lightly muddle mint leaves and sorghum syrup. Pour in cognac to rinse off muddler; remove muddler. Fill the cup three-fourths full with crushed ice and stir with a bar spoon. Add a small dome of crushed ice, and pour rum over the top. Garnish with a mint sprig and a dust of powdered sugar.

Tip: Huerta’s go-to variety is spearmint. Just don’t overmuddle the leaves, or you risk releasing bitter chlorophyll into your drink.

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