This Blackberry rendition of the Mint Julep is sure to have you ready for the Kentucky Derby

Blackberry Julep

Place your bets on this Julep

This Blackberry rendition of the Mint Julep is sure to have you ready for the “Run for the Roses®.”

This Blackberry Julep adds the delicious essence of one of Springtime's favorite berries to that classic Derby cocktail.

Got a member of the family that absolutely loves the Kentucky Derby? Well, then they are going to love sipping on this Blackberry Mint Julep while they watch the ponies run!

Mint Juleps have been the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby since the 1930s. Each year, almost 120,000 are served throughout the weekend of the Derby. That’s a whole lot of Juleps!

The Blackberry Julep adds the delicious essence of one of springtime’s favorite berries to that classic Derby cocktail, and makes a great addition to any Kentucky Derby Party.

To get into the spirit of the Derby, we used a Kentucky Bourbon for this recipe. We used Rowan’s Creek for its spicy notes and oak char-caramel taste. It’s a well-balanced bourbon that was a great offset for the sweet blackberries.

Don’t like Rowan’s Creek? Maker’s Mark is always a good choice for your Julep, but if you like a good burn to your bourbon give Willett Pot Still Reserve a try.

While we’ve crafted our share of Juleps for this blog, this berry rendition of the Mint Julep is our favorite. It is a fresh cocktail that you can enjoy all spring and summer long.

So grab a glass, put on your Ascot hats, and place your bets, because this Blackberry Julep is ready to win the Triple Crown of Cocktails.

This is how you make a Blackberry Julep!

Blackberry Julep

Yields: 1 Serving
Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2½ Ounces Kentucky Bourbon
  • ½ Ounce Simple Syrup
  • 4 to 5 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 8 Fresh Blackberries
  • Fresh Blackberries for Garnish
Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Old Fashioned Glass or Julep Cup
  • Muddler or Bar Spoon

 

Preparation

Blackberry Julep: Muddle blackberries and mint leaves against the bottom of a glass, or press with the back of a spoon, being careful not to shred the mint leaves.

Pour the bourbon on top. Add ice and simple syrup to glass. Stir gently to combine, and top with more ice. Garnish with blackberries and a sprig or two of fresh mint. Enjoy!

Nutritional Content

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 160 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 5 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 4.5 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 1.5

This Blackberry rendition of the Mint Julep is sure to have you ready for the Kentucky Derby

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Kellie, head blogger at Brio Smart Life

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Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

Cherry Bourbon Smash

Bourbon and Cherry make a lovely couple

This take on the Cherry Whiskey Smash blends sweet and tart flavors to create one delicious cocktail.

Bourbon and cherry make a lovely couple in this Cherry Bourbon Smash recipe.

Don’t you just love to experiment with cocktail recipes? We sure do! And when given a delicious bit of inspiration, like the Cherry Whiskey Smash by Jessica from How Sweet It Is, we end up with gems like our Cherry Bourbon Smash.

Now before we go any further, I say try the original before trying our variation on the recipe. You might find you like the Whiskey version better than the Bourbon version, and that is perfectly fine. If you are on the bourbon train like me, let’s get into it.

I’ve been on a bit of a Jim Beam kick recently. It could be because I’ve been enjoying some hot toddies this winter, and Jim works really well with this new tea I bought at Teavana. When I came across the Cherry Whiskey Smash recipe, I thought it might taste good with Jim instead of Jack.

Cherry cocktails sometimes taste like cough syrup to me, which is why I suggest tart cherry juice instead of the sweet variety. It will help balance out the sweetness of the Amaretto and Cherry Coke.

If you’re not a Jim fan, I won’t hold it against you. Everyone’s tastes are different. This is a recipe I would use this recipe when you have cheap bourbon that you want to doctor up the taste. I also consider it a Valentine’s day cocktail option that isn’t so frilly.

Check out this Cherry Bourbon Smash recipe!

Cherry Bourbon Smash

Yields: 1 Serving
Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 Ounce Bourbon
  • 1 Ounce Tart Cherry Juice
  • ½ Ounce Amaretto
  • ½ Ounce Ginger Brandy
  • 2 Ounces Cherry Coke
  • Maraschino Cherries for Garnish
Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Rocks Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Bar Spoon

Preparation

Cherry Bourbon Smash: Add bourbon, cherry juice, amaretto and brandy to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for about 30 seconds, or until chilled. Pour over ice in a rocks glass, and top with cherry coke. Stir together to combine. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Nutritional Content

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 180 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 12.8 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 10 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 6

This take on the Cherry Whiskey Smash blends sweet and tart flavors to create one delicious cocktail.

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Kellie, head blogger at Brio Smart Life

About the Author

Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

We’re dreaming of a hot chocolate Christmas!

You never get too old for hot chocolate! But these spiked hot chocolate recipes are just for us kids at heart.

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

 

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

Image / Recipe from // Judy | I’m Bored Let’s Go

It’s sugar, it’s spice, and it’s everything oh-so nice. This spiked Mexican hot chocolate will make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Don’t forget the whipped cream on top!

 

Salted Caramel White Hot Chocolate

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

Image / Recipe from // Natalie Migliarini | Delish

White hot chocolate? Who would have thunk! This delightful mix of caramel, white hot chocolate, and Bailey’s is going to change the way you look at hot chocolate.

 

Bourbon Hot Chocolate

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

Image / Recipe from // Sugar Dish Me

Bourbon. Marshmallows. Chocolate. You can’t go wrong with this combination of spiked hot chocolate awesomeness!

 

Kahlua Hot Chocolate

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

Image from // Honey and Birch Recipe from // Sugar & Soul

Of all the spiked hot chocolate recipes, this might be our favorite. It’s a creamy and frothy hot chocolate with an adult twist that you’ll want to drown in chocolate sauce.

Irish Cream Hot Chocolate

5 Ultimate Recipes For Spiked Hot Chocolate

Image / Recipe from // Erin | Delightful E Made

This is the perfect spiked hot chocolate recipe for snowy nights to sip by the fire. It’s also a great grown-up dessert!

 

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Corinne, cocktail blogger at Brio Smart Life
How to make a Maple-Bourbon Smash via the Brio Smart Life Blog

Maple-Bourbon Smash

Smash Right Into Autumn!

Hello most wonderful time of the year! Maple syrup pairs so delightfully with bourbon in this fall cocktail!

How to make a Maple-Bourbon Smash via the Brio Smart Life Blog

If there could be one thing we love about fall more than apple cider, it’s got to be fresh maple syrup! Local orchards and parks would tap trees to show the kids where their syrup came from. We used to leave with jars of maple syrup and my brother would devour it in a matter of days. That’s probably why he loves this Maple Bourbon Smash. It’s a little reminder of home.

Smash cocktails are kind of the happy love child of a liquor, some form of sweetener, and an infused fruit or fruit juice. There are all kinds of smashes from Whiskey to Vodka, like our Strawberry Gin Smash. These cocktails are served over ice, and can be either really simple or extremely complex. Never fear; though, this fall cocktail is easy to make and even easier to drink!

This whiskey cocktail is fairly simple with only 3 ingredients. If you have access to fresh maple syrup, not the processed Aunt Jemima kind, use it! To me, processed items always make cocktails taste funny, so I try to use fresh products as much as possible. In this case, I grabbed a soy-free maple syrup that I found in our local health food store [having to go on a soy-restricted diet for my health has been a challenge]. Organic maple syrup works well too if you can get your hands on it.

Next, you are going to need a good bourbon. I still had some Basil Hayden’s left in the bottle, so into the cocktail shaker it went. You are going to want a spicy flavored bourbon to offset some of the sweetness of the maple syrup. This might take some experimenting to get it just right for your flavor pallet.

Now let’s show you how you make a Maple-Bourbon Smash!

 

Maple-Bourbon Smash

Yields: 1 Servings

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2 Ounces Bourbon
  • 1 Ounce Maple Syrup
  • 1 Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Twist for Garnish

Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Old-Fashioned Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker

 

Preparation

Maple-Bourbon Smash: Pour all the ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake for about 20 seconds, or until the drink is properly chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a large cube of ice. Garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!

Nutritional Content

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 207 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Potassium (mg) 42 Carbohydrates (g) 18 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 18 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 2

How to make a Maple-Bourbon Smash via the Brio Smart Life Blog

 

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Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

How to make a Southern 75 beer cocktail

Southern 75 Cocktail

A Beertail with a Southern twist

You’ve never had a beer cocktail quite like this Southern 75!

Drink of the week: Southern 75

When we come across a cocktail recipe that turns our head a little, we can’t help but be excited to make it. That was definitely the case of this Southern 75 recipe that we found on Garden and Gun’s website. This beertail [beer-cocktail] is the brainchild of Nate Shuman, who was head barman at Proof & Provision, a basement bar in the Georgian Terrace Hotel. The Southern 75 is a rather interesting take on a French 75, but instead of gin and champagne, Shuman offers up a mixture of India Pale Ale and Bourbon.

Down at Proof & Provision, they prepare this cocktail using Four Roses Bourbon, demerara syrup [a simple syrup made using demerara or turbinado sugar], freshly squeezed lemon juice and Sweetwater IPA. If you aren’t a fan of Four Roses or Sweetwater, pick out an IPA and a Bourbon that you like instead. We’re not big fans of Sweetwater, so we switched it out for a different IPA and some Evan Williams since we didn’t have Four Roses.

This cocktail is served neat, meaning it’s not served on ice, so try not use a lukewarm beer. The chilling of the other ingredients in the shaker might not make the drink cold enough. Using a chilled IPA and glass will make this beertail the perfect temperature.

Now you’re probably thinking: Beer and Whiskey, really? To which we say you’ll be surprised. If you aren’t much of a beer drinker, you’re going to either love it or hate it. The Southern 75 is one of those beertails that you are either on board with or you’re not. But before you get a little gun-shy about it, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

This is how you make the Southern 75 beertail!

 

Southern 75

Yields: 1 Serving

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 6 Ounces India Pale Ale
  • 2 Ounce Bourbon
  • ¾ Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ Ounce Demerara Syrup or Simple Syrup

Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Pilsner Glasses
  • Cocktail Shaker

 

Preparation

Southern 75: Pour chilled IPA into a chilled glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and demerara [or simple] syrup with ice. Shake vigorously for around 30 seconds, till chilled. Strain the into the beer. Enjoy!

Nutritional Content

**This will vary based on what IPA or Bourbon you choose

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 179 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Potassium (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 22 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 12 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 5

How to make a Southern 75 beer cocktail

 

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Kellie – Head of Content Creation

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We’re betting on this Classic Mint Julep recipe for the Kentucky Derby!

Classic Mint Julep Recipe

We’re betting on this Drink of the Week for the Kentucky Derby!

We’re mixing up some minty delights today with this Drink of the Week: The Mint Julep!

Drink of the week: The Mint Julep

In the spirit of the longest running sporting event in the US, The Kentucky Derby, we have something special in mind. You guessed it! We’ll be mixing up some minty delights today with this Drink of the Week: The Mint Julep!

Mint Juleps are the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby and are a southern springtime staple cocktail. Almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served at the Churchill Downs Racetrack over the two days of the Kentucky Derby. That’s a heck of a lot of bourbon!

Like a Moscow Mule, the Mint Julep also has a special silver metal cup that the drink is traditionally served in, but if you don’t have one you can use a scotch glass.

The mint simple syrup in this recipe is very easy to make and yields enough syrup for a Kentucky Derby Party‘s worth of cocktails. You can even make it well in advance and keep it on hand.

You can also substitute out the bourbon for club soda for party guests who don’t drink or are not of age. Place your bets ladies and gents, and raise your Drink of the Week Glasses to these delicious Mint Juleps.

Check out our Kentucky Derby Party Essentials guide to help plan your Derby parties.

 

Mint Julep

Yields: 1 Serving
Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2½ Ounces Bourbon
  • 1 Ounce Mint Simple Syrup
  • 3 Large Mint Leaves
  • 2 Cups Crushed Ice
  • Mint Spring for Garnish
Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Julep or Scotch Glass
  • Straws
  • Gallon Ziplock Bag
  • Mallet/Meat Tenderizer

 

Mint Simple Syrup

Yields: 1 1/2 cups
Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Mint Sprigs (about 15)
Items You’ll Need:

  • Medium Saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Container

 

Preparation

How to make the Mint Simple Syrup: In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and mint sprigs in water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a strainer into an airtight container. Cover and chill for at least a 1/2 hour.

How to make Crushed Ice: If you don’t have a fridge that has a Crushed Ice button, take a gallon sized ziplock bag and fill it half way with ice. Zip the bag closed, and place the bag on a large paper plate, this helps reduce the watery mess on your counter. Take a mallet, the kind you use to tenderize meat and smash the flat edge against the ice until crushed. Set aside in the freezer until needed.

The Mint Julep: Gently press mint leaves against glass with back of a spoon. Cover leaves with 1/3 cup of crushed ice and add in Mint Simple Syrup. Pour 1 Ounce of Bourbon into glass and stir. Add in more ice and the remaining bourbon. Pack glass with remaining ice, and insert straw. Garnish Mint Julep with a sprig of mint, and enjoy!

Nutritional Content

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 156 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Potassium (mg) 1 Carbohydrates (g) 4.21 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 4.16 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 1

We’re betting on this Classic Mint Julep recipe for the Kentucky Derby!

 
 

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Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger

Drink of the Week: The Nor’easter

Oh no! Anything but snow!

This is the only Nor’easter that we don’t mind.

Drink of the week - Nor'Easter

This drink of the week recpe comes from the folks behind the bar at Char No 4, Brooklyn’s home of American Whiskey, where they sure know how to make a killer bourbon cocktail, like this Nor’easter.

The Nor’easter cocktail puts a Southern twist on one of our past Drinks of the Week the Dark and Stormy.

Let this delicious beauty accompany your next Netflix session as you wait out the cold weather this winter.

 

The Nor’easter Cocktail

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 4 Ounces Bourbon
  • 2 Ounces Ginger Beer
  • 1 Ounce Maple Syrup
  • 1+ Ounce Lime Juice (To Taste)
  • Lime Wedge
Glassware and Items You’ll Need:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Whiskey Glass

 

Preparation

The Nor’easter cocktail: Combine Maple syrup, lime juice, bourbon and ginger ale in a cocktail shaker (Tip: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can use a Tervis Tumbler with a tight lid to do this step). Shake it up until well mixed. Chill in the freezer for 2–4 minutes, until very cold. Strain and pour over ice, then garnish with a fresh lime wedge. Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Content

1 serving approximately contains: Calories (kcal) 180 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 11 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 9 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 0

 
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Kellie – Head of Content Creation

Creative Director | Web Designer | Blogger | Sake Enthusiast | Resident Ginger