Even if you think it isn't possible to make a non-alcoholic Mint Julep that tastes as good as the original alcoholic version, the recipes below offer refreshing alternatives.
Can You Really Make a Non-Alcoholic Mint Julep?
Southerners take great pride in the traditional Mint Julep, and the very thought of making a non-alcoholic version would likely seem like sacrilage to many Julep enthusiasts. The cornerstone ingredients of this cocktail have always been good bourbon and fresh mint. So the question begs, how can someone make a Julep without the alcoholic component and still have it taste like it should?
The honest answer is that the resulting drink won't really taste like a true Julep without the bourbon, but it can still be a pleasing drink that honors the original while still providing that delightfully cooling tickle across your tongue. If you really want to mix a non-alcoholic Mint Julep, it's certainly worth it to give one of the following recipes a try.
Alcohol-Free Mint Julep
When you just need to make a cocktail or two, this single serving recipe will serve you well.You will need:
- Four to five spearmint leaves
- About 1/2 ounce of simple syrup, either purchased or homemade
- Crushed ice
- Enough cola or strongly-brewed iced tea (Your choice) to fill a Collins glass.
- An extra mint sprig for garnish
- First, put the mint leaves in the bottom of the glass, and pour the simple syrup over them. Gently muddle the mint to release its flavorful oil.
- Next, add a generous amount of crushed ice to the glass.
- Top off the glass with cola or ice tea as you prefer, and give it a gentle stir to mix it all together.
- Garnish the drink with a sprig of mint for that signature Mint Julep look.
Mock Mint Julep Punch
Here's a tasty recipe that allows you to make an entire batch of alcohol-free Mint Juleps to serve at a special gathering. Even the kids can give it a try.You will need:
- One bunch of fresh spearmint leaves
- One cup of simple syrup (Use less if you don't like so much sweetness.)
- One cup of cold water
- A 2-litre bottle of ginger ale (You can substitute diet ginger ale or iced tea if you wish.)
- Ice, or an ice ring mold embedded with mint leaves and fresh lemon slices
- Add the mint to the bottom of an empty punch bowl, pour the simple syrup over the leaves and gently muddle them to release the flavor.
- Pour the cold water over the mint and syrup, and stir the mix together.
- Add the ice or ice mold to the bowl, and pour the ginger ale (or tea) over it.
- Stir slowly to mix the ingredients, and allow to chill for a few more moments before allowing your guests to partake.
Once you've given this recipe a try, you can adjust the amount of any particular ingredient to make the punch more to your own taste. You can also double the ingredients to fill a larger punch bowl if you wish.
A Word of Advice
These recipes do make a tasty beverage, but don't try to pull the wool over your guests' eyes. Be up front about the fact that this is an alcohol-free version of the classic Mint Julep. Your guests will appreciate your honesty, and they're more likely to give the beverage a fair try rather than dismiss it as a poorly-made cocktail.