Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep Cocktail
Mint Juleps are the perfect cocktail to play with; the combination of bourbon, sugar and mint is fabulous with a wide array of fruit and this Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep is no exception…it’s got the added bonus of some sparkling wine. Perfect for a celebration!
I lived in the South for many years and while I can’t brag about having been to the Kentucky Derby, I can say I’ve driven through that part of the country during our moves and it is amazingly beautiful. Wide, rolling expanses of green grass are accentuated with white fences that stretch for miles.
You can imagine in the distance a scene I’ve only seen played out through the small screen; that array of genteel Southern folks, dressed as if stepping back in time and all congregated to watch a spectacular of speed, grace and beauty that I don’t believe is matched anywhere.
I have always loved horses; seeing them run in the Derby is one of the most exhilarating experiences I know; I can only imagine how fabulous it must be to be there. I have the perfect hat, it’s wide flowing brim just waiting for that moment when the invitation comes!
In the Meantime…
In lieu of waiting for my horse to pass by, I’ve been invited often to Kentucky Derby parties. Which means food and drink and nothing is more quintessentially a Derby drink than the Mint Julep. So southern; so sweet; so good.
To stay true to form, I used my Wild Turkey whiskey from Kentucky as a nod to the roots of this cocktail but I veered pretty far off the path after that.
Mint Julep’s are good all by themselves but I’m not sure they are blog worthy…how many blogs do you need to tell you to mix sugar, bourbon and mint anyhow? So; I got clever (or so I think!) and decided to add not only a fruity touch but a fizzy one as well with the addition of some fresh blackberries and a wonderful chilled Prosecco.
Did we love this? Big time. The addition of blackberries was so perfect; enough tartness to temper the sugar but not enough to change the overall composition of the drink. I enjoyed not only the bubbly but that one addition made the drink more festive and maybe a bit less ‘boozy’ and I liked it. A lot.
The added combination of Prosecco and blackberries was very well received; both added a fresh and fruity flavor to this classic warm weather cocktail. Seriously so good it should not be relegated to just one day. I’ll be making these again for a summer barbecue.
One lesson I’ve learned with this cocktail is how versatile a mint julep is; the addition of the blackberries was fantastic so I anticipate I will be making more variations. Try your hand too; once you include the basics of bourbon, mint and sugar, the sky is the limit.
And one more thing. Why this superb little cocktail is limited to a weekend fling is beyond me. Think all summer long; they are cold and so refreshing, perfect on a lazy summer afternoon; even without horses!
I struggled a bit deciding whether to post something today that would be fitting for just The Kentucky Derby or wondered if I should also offer up something for Cinco de Mayo on Sunday.
You can see what won and this Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep is worthy. And luckily I remembered that I put together a compilation of some great Cinco de Mayo dishes and cocktails last year that is still a great resource for those festivities. Whew!! As for this? I’ll have some ready tomorrow for the big race; you coming over?
More Fabulous Mint Juleps!
- Roasted Pineapple and Rum Mint Julep
- Muscovado and Vanilla Bean Mint Julep
- Honey Peach Mint Julep
- Strawberry Mint Julep
PIN ‘Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep Cocktail’
Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep Cocktail
- Small ice cubes I get mine from Sonic; they sell ice by the bag
- ½ cup blackberries
- 4 tablespoons mint leaves torn in half
- 2 Tbsp simple syrup equal parts water and sugar brought to boil just enough to melt sugar; cooled
- 3 ounces bourbon
- Prosecco or other sparkling wine
- Mint sprigs and blackberries for garnish
- Fill a julep or small rocks glass overflowing with ice cubes.
- In a shaker, muddle the blackberries, mint leaves and simple syrup.
- Add 1 cup of ice cubes and bourbon to the shaker and shake well. Strain the drink into the glass filling it 3/4 full.
- Finish filling the glass with the Prosecco, gently stir to combine.
- Gently press on the mint leaves for garnish to release their aroma before putting a bunch into each cocktail; finish with a blackberry and serve with a short straw.
I’m thirsty now! I love blackberries..made a Blackberry Kombucha not too long ago and it turned out fantastic!
I’ve always sipped just a regular mint julep; after making that blackberry one I’m sold on adding fruit to one; it really was terrific.
What a refreshing and delicious cocktail. And of course, you make it look amazing!
Well, well, felt like Paris for me, awesome.
Beautiful presentation of a lovely drink. Was hoping that Rosie Napravnik would have won the Derby but think it is awesome that she and her horse Mylute did come in fifth! Cheers to that 🙂
I’ll cheer with you; I had no winner in mind so would have been happy to pull for your favorite horse!
I love what you’ve done with this!! I’d take one of these any day over the original 🙂
It is so much better…while I’ve like them OK, I LOVED this! I thought them both a bit too sweet and a bit too strong with the bourbon; the blackberries and the sparkling wine were great ‘fixers.’ 🙂
You’ve outdone yourself with this one, Barb! Love the addition of Prosecco and blackberries – inspired. I’m making these for Mother’s Day!
Yeah! You won’t be disappointed; they are fresh and so good…I like them much better than the original. Enjoy Mom’s day Hannah!
This is one of the prettiest cocktails I’ve seen! It sounds wonderful.
Thanks so much Jayne; sometimes I make one I love more than others and this did fit that bill! Silver cups don’t hurt probably right? 🙂
The photo is absolutely stunning Barb! I really want to try this one, I have blackberries in the kitchen most all year long too 🙂
Please do…so refreshing and I loved how the blackberries made it not quite so sweet. Perfect even!
I so love a mint julep and this is definitely a perfect addition! Beautiful!
Thank you Maria; we just loved it.
Amazing drink , so fresh and delicious , We can’t go wrong with this amazing drink. A must try.
I love everything about this! How can you go wring with Prosecco and blackberries?!
Isn’t that the truth Sylvie? It was pretty perfect.
Yup, I’m coming over! This looks refreshing and relaxing — simply perfect for a day at the races. Have you been to the horse track here in Denver? A far, far cry from Kentucky but still something different to do now and then.
I haven’t been to them here but I did go to some races when I was younger and lived in St. Louis; they were so disappointing; more seedy than spectacular so guess I’ve never been interested. We should do a girls day out at the races! 🙂
That drink is beautiful. I’ve never been to the derby either but I did get a private tour of the place on a visit years ago. Steeped in tradition over there!
Oh, I think the world can always use another post about Mint Juleps! 😉 Really nice variant you did – I’ve never had bourbon and bubbly of any kind, and really should just to see what it’s like. Aren’t mint leaves so much fun to shoot when lit from behind? Great photos and drink – thanks so much.
Probably right John…heck I love to do other classics although I realize I’m sharing more about the history than actually how to make the cocktail. I experiment a bit more with bubbly than I ever have. I used to just use it for mimosas but it livens up a lot of other cocktails too!
I am not a big fan of mint unless it is in ice cream or mixed with yogurt, but I might be won over with this drink. I’m sure it tastes as beautiful as it looks. Yum.
I do believe this could make a convert of you! It was just delicious. Yes, I said delicious. 🙂
I definitely love those additions Barb and will have to keep that Prosecco in mind for the summer! Wish we lived closer so I could come and join you for one of these!
Where did you find your sterling silver mugs for the Mint Juleps? I have wanted a pair forever!
Also, what a great idea to purchase your ice from Sonic!!! I had no idea they sell ice by the bag. I will do that for this beverage. BRILLIANT. You learn something new everyday!
I got them from Amazon Liz. They are small but were perfect. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000Z4J728/ref=pe_175190_21431760_M3T1_ST1_dp_1
One of my secrets that will be a secret no more! But I refuse to use refrigerator ice. Those half moon cloudy shapes do nothing for a cocktail photo so I find ice that works better from all over. Some I make but I love the Sonic stuff for a lot of applications.
Heck, ya! I definitely want to join you! 🙂 B, this is just marvelously brilliant. I adore bourbon and blackberry almost anything. The perfect berry for this cocktail! And, I love that you went for some bubbly action with the Ogio Prosecco. Must try this! By the way…lived in Lexington, KY for 2 years and my inner Southern Belle LOVED IT there! The Big Lug and I moved there due to Toyota Motor Manufacturing being a high-profile client in nearby Georgetown, KY. Did lots of day trips (so much to see!) and even went caving. Also, went to Keeneland for the horse races. LOVED IT! Thanks again for another swell Cocktail Friday with Barb of CC! xoxo
It is so beautiful there isn’t it? I struggled with the ‘less green’ aspect of Denver but now I could not leave the ‘less humid’ one! Have a great weekend Stacy!
Oh, B…totally loved Kentucky. We both did, but hubby suffers from allergies to ragweed and the State Flower of KY is the Goldenrod, LOL. People were awesome. Oh, yes…The Big Lug once interviewed in Denver. He didn’t like it at all. (Not to mention his mountain sickness and had to scarf down lots of bananas for potassium and drink a ton of water, LOL!) He said Denver was “very grey”. Needless to say, we decided to stay here in Indy. Thank you! You have a great weekend, too!
I think Denver was more of a shock because our realtor only took us to new homes which is why, when I settled after a divorce, I HAD to buy a place a bit older just for the trees. Truth though? Denver is hardly gray; we have way too much sunshine for me to have ever aligned it with that color! I’m from the Midwest and while MO and IN are greener and more lush; I would not trade now for that if it meant going back to humidity; I love dining outside far too much. In a yard with trees. 🙂