A mint julep is . . . fine. But with just bourbon, mint, water and simple syrup, the classic Kentucky Derby cocktail begs getting just as dressed up as you do for the holiday. At downtown favorite Nose Dive in Greenville, South Carolina, bar manager Walker Pickering adds spice and an herbal spin by way of ginger liqueur and Salers Aperitif. He calls it The Steve McQueen, in honor of the King of Cool himself, and the pun is highly intended: Bullitt (Bulleit) is the name of a McQueen movie, and the drink's green hue matches the car in the film.
The Steve McQueen (Ginger Mint Julep)
Recipe adapted from Walker Pickering, Nose Dive, Greenville, SC
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 5 minutes
1¾ ounces Bulleit Bourbon
½ ounce ginger liqueur (such as Stirrings)
½ ounce Salers Aperitif
5 mint leaves
1. Combine the bourbon, ginger liqueur and aperitif in a mixing glass over ice.
2. Lightly smash 4 of the mint leaves and place them in the mixing glass.
3. Using a bar spoon (or other long-stemmed spoon), vigorously mix for about 10 seconds.
4. Double strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube.
5. Lightly smash the remaining piece of mint and place it on top of the rock to serve.