- Bettina Applewhite
Moroccan Mint Tea Juleps
The Kentucky Derby is known for it's fancy hats and mint juleps. A mint julep is a bourbon cocktail muddled with fresh mint and iced tea. It's a refreshing cocktail that's perfect for a day spent with horses. I put a spin on the classic cocktail by changing the standard black tea with Moroccan spiced green tea and steeping the simple syrup with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Making a flavored simple syrup is actually pretty easy. All you need is water and sugar and whatever flavors you want. For this recipe I'm using a cinnamon stick, crystallized ginger, and whole cloves. All you have to do is heat 1 cup of sugar in one cup of water just until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and add in your spices. Once cooled, strain out the spices and you've got a flavored sugar that will add more pizzazz to your cocktail.
The Moroccan Mint Green Tea that I used was from Cuples Tea House. This Moroccan Mint tea uses Darjeeling green tea and rose petal. It combines the flavors of peppermint and spearmint. The tea is so fragrant that the aromas hit your first in the back of your throat and your tongue will do a little dance. It's a really nice tea. Look at the colors of this premium tea!
Today's Kentucky Derby is unusual because the Derby is always in May and the start of the three races in the Triple Crown. Because of the coronavirus, all the races got pushed back and the Derby ends up being in September 2020. I grew up around horses and have always been drawn to the animals. My father was a farmer so when he started buying cattle, I did what any little girl would do. I begged for a horse. And after awhile I wore him down and he bought me my first horse. That horse and I were best of friends. I learned how to ride with her. I didn't race her. She wasn't a show horse. She was my friend, but because of her my passion for horses grew and still remain. I don't get to ride much anymore but I watch the races whenever I can.
You may not be able to make it to the Derby this year or ever, but you can still have the signature cocktail spiced up with a Moroccan twist.
Moroccan Mint Tea Julep
1 Cup Moroccan Mint Tea, cooled
1/4 Cup Moroccan Spiced Simple Syrup (recipe below)
1/2 Cup Bourbon
3 - 4 Mint Leaves, plus more for garnish
Fill 2 glasses with ice. Shake up ingredients and ice into a cocktail shaker. Strain into the two prepared glasses and enjoy!
Moroccan Spiced Simple Syrup
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tbsp Crystallized Ginger
Combine water and sugar in a small pot. Heat until sugar dissolves but not boiling. Turn off heat and add in cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Allow to completely cool. Strain spices from syrup. Syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.