This fresh mint slushie, given some body with a hit of cucumber, is great with or without alcohol (bourbon, vodka, gin, arak or ouzo–any of these are great). Serve the mint slushie for a twist on the mint julep for the Kentucky Derby, and then all summer long for a fabulous barbecue party drink.
Which is ironic, given how mint-crazy we are here and how few—if any—mint juleps we’ve actually imbibed.
I was especially intrigued when I was gifted with a cocktail book that claims the origins of the mint julep far far from Kentucky, and situates it directly in the Middle East. Any quick search online traces it clearly: Julep derives from the Persian gulab and the Arabic julab.
The early drinks were to do with rose water, and always to do with refreshment.
Here’s my take on a good Derby drink: Just a good handful of mint, cucumber for extra-freshness and body, lemonade and ice. Don’t worry, there’s no dram of rose water here—but a dram of bourbon will do just fine.
Fresh Mint Slushie
This recipe makes about three 6 oz slushies. Make in batches and serve them immediately.
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- 1 1/2 cups lemonade
- 1 pickling cucumber, cut in chunks
- Big handful fresh mint leaves
- 2-3 drams Bourbon, vodka, gin, arak, ouzo (optional)
Blitz everything in a blender and serve immediately.