New Riff Distilling Shares Its Unique Mint Julep Recipe

Hold on to your decorative fascinator: This mint julep recipe calls for pineapple syrup

click to enlarge Run for the Rye - Photo: Provided by New Riff/Courtesy Katie Tobin
Photo: Provided by New Riff/Courtesy Katie Tobin
Run for the Rye

The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place on May 1 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. And while seating and capacity are limited there this year due to COVID-19, you can still don some seersucker and a giant fascinator while downing a mint julep at home.

Don't know how to make a mint julep? No, worries. New Riff Distilling in Bellevue has a fun take on the traditional drink.

Named Run for the Rye — wordplay on Run for the Roses, a nickname for the derby due to the fact the winning jockey receives a garland made of hundreds of roses — this julep mixes it up with a tropical twist instead of just simple syrup.

“Personally, I don’t usually like juleps because they’re too sweet," Katie Tobin, bar manager at The Aquifer at New Riff Distilling, tells CityBeat. "But this is a julep for non-believers! This recipe works great because the pineapple is a softer flavor against the spiciness of our rye, balanced with the fresh green flavor of the mint.” 

Run for the Rye

  • 2 oz New Riff Kentucky straight rye
  • .75 oz pineapple syrup (store-bought or homemade)
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin filled with ice. Strain into a highball glass or copper julep cup over crushed ice and garnish with fresh mint. 

And if you're looking for a straight-up, copper-cup, no-frills cocktail, Maker's Mark shared its mint julep recipe online.

Mint Julep

  • 2 parts Maker's Mark Bourbon
  • 1/2 part simple syrup
  • Fresh mint leaves

Instructions: Add all mint and syrup to a julep cup. Gently muddle mint to express the oils. Add crushed ice. Pour Maker's Mark over (preferably crushed) ice. Stir and garnish with a mint sprig.

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