There’s something about classic, American traditions that turn the imagination to thoughts of the South. Now that we’re in approaching the Kentucky Derby, the extravagant hats, the gatherings at Churchill Downs and derby pie all spark that southern allure. Of course, no celebration of the Derby is complete without a Mint Julep; so we knew that our own spread wouldn’t be complete without our own take on the southern classic.
Given that we like to put a spin on the recipes that we share, I knew that our tabletop needed a cocktail that was unique, all the while staying true to traditional Derby elements. As a result, this super refreshing, cucumber, Mint Julep Granita was born.
This granita is a really fur and refreshing way to serve up a cocktail – you can serve it in little coupes with a spoon, or wait for it to melt down a bit a slurp it down with a straw. It’s also incredibly easy to make, can be prepared well in advance, and is absolutely gorgeous once you fluff the icy crystals. It’s an absolute winner in our book!
Cucumber Mint Julep Granita // Serves 6
- 3 large cucumbers, peeled
- 1 cup bourbon
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup mint, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
Coarsely chop the mint, place it in a heat proof bowl, and set aside. Combine sugar and water over medium hight heat, stirring occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then remove from heat. Pour the simple syrup mixture over the mint, cover the bowl, and allow the mint to steep in the syrup until it comes to room temperature. Once the mixture has cooled, strain out the mint and reserve the syrup.
Peel and chop the cucumbers. In two batches, blend the bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice and cucumbers. Place the slush in the freezer. Every hour or so, take a fork and scrape the mixture to create crystals, then freeze again. The granita should be ready to serve after about four hours. Garnish with a sprig of mint!