In his Tropical Julep at New York City bar Slowly Shirley, managing partner Jim Kearns uses mint to bridge the flavor gap between pineapple-infused bourbon and rich, dark rum. “Mint ties the drink together by complementing the tropical notes of the rum and the bourbon,” Kearns says. And the mint-sprig garnish isn’t just for looks. “If there’s mint on top of your cocktail, leave it there,” Kearns says. “It’s meant to be there, and its aromatics will make the cocktail more enjoyable.”
2¼ oz. pineapple-infused bourbon
¼ oz. blackstrap rum
¼ oz. rich brown-sugar syrup (2:1)
2 mint sprigs
Tools: shaker, muddler, strainer
Glass: Julep cup or glass
Garnish: 5 mint sprigs
In a shaker, combine the brown-sugar syrup, the leaves of 2 mint sprigs and the pineapple-infused bourbon. Muddle until mixed, then strain into a chilled Julep cup or glass and fill with crushed ice. Pour the blackstrap rum over the top, and garnish.
Pineapple-Infused Bourbon: Trim the skin and leaves of 1 pineapple, then cut the fruit into 1-inch cubes. In a 1-gallon container with a lid, add the cut pineapple and 1 750-ml. bottle of bourbon. Let infuse for at least 24 hours, then strain and rebottle for use. Keep refrigerated and use within 2 weeks.
Jim Kearns, Slowly Shirley, New York City
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