JulepAsk most native Kentuckians how a julep is made and the first thing they will tell you is, “It can’t be made by a Yankee.” I believe this to be hogwash but I am not about to start another war of northern aggression over a cocktail.

The julep is a simple refreshing cocktail that is great for warm days, especially when you have time to sip and watch the ice melt. It’s a whole lot of crushed ice, simple syrup, fresh mint, and a stiff shot of whiskey. Being a yankee, I don’t care about specific southern ingredients like using Kentucky Colonel mint or Kentucky bourbon. In the upper midwest we use what we have on hand and what’s local to us.

I give you the Midwest Julep.

Midwest Julep


8 Mint leaves (Spearmint)

1 teaspoon honey (local wildflower honey)

2 teaspoons water (tap)

2 oz. rye whiskey (Journeyman Distillery: Last Feather Rye Whiskey

Crushed Ice


  1. Run out to the garden and pluck up two sprigs of spearmint.
  2. Wrap a whole tray of icecubes in a flower sack towel and crush the piss out of it.
  3. Muddle 8 fresh mint leaves in a jelly jar with a little crushed ice.
  4. Stir the honey and water into the muddled mint.
  5. Add the crushed ice to the glass
  6. Pour the rye over the ice
  7. Stir the drink until the glass is frosted.
  8. Garnish with a spring of mint.