Monday, July 11, 2011

dubonnet mint julep

3 oz Bourbon (1 1/2 oz Bulleit)
2 oz Dubonnet Rouge (1 oz)
1 tsp Sugar (1/2 tsp)
1 Handful of Mint (4 sprigs)

Dissolve sugar in a splash of water, add a sprig of mint, and lightly bruise the sprig with a muddler in a Julep cup or double old fashioned glass. Remove mint (or not), add rest of ingredients and some crushed ice, and stir. Top with more crushed ice, add a straw, and garnish with the remaining mint sprigs.

When I was on the Dubonnet website, I spotted the Dubonnet Mint Julep and decided to give it a go. The concept of the drink might seem a bit weird that a foreign sounding aperitif wine is mixed with Bourbon for a Derby Day delight; however, Dubonnet is made in two locations. While much of the world's Dubonnet is still made in France, the aperitif wine for the American market is made at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. According to Paul Clarke, there is a slight difference in the taste between the two, but once mixed, those differences become harder to detect. Therefore, depending on which whiskey is used, both products can stem from the same state.
The Dubonnet Mint Julep came across sort of like a Manhattan where the mint functioned as the bitters. Moreover, the Dubonnet, sugar, and the mint helped to smooth out the flavor of the Bourbon into something quite drinkable. The concept of a Julep containing aperitif wine still seems a bit strange despite enjoying the minty Greenbriar Cocktail made out of dry vermouth and sherry; on the other hand, in both cases, the end results were rather delicious.

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