The Kentucky Derby (this year held on May 3–4) and Cinco de Mayo (May 5, natch) fall on the same weekend. That’s a lot of revelry to pack into three days—not to mention, what will you choose to drink? The classic Mint Julep in honor of Derby Day or a Tequila tipple to celebrate Mexico’s heritage?
Choices, choices. Luckily, we have your answer. Wine Enthusiast asked Colin Shearn, beverage director at St. Charles Exchange in Louisville, Kentucky, to create a blend of the two. Ladies and gents, we introduce to you the Tequila Julep.
Shearn works smack dab in the middle of Derby action and knows a thing or two about juleps. While typically made with Kentucky Bourbon, in this version, Shearn swaps it out for two spirits with Mexican heritage: crisp blanco Tequila and smoky mezcal. Meanwhile, simple syrup made with brown demerara sugar, adds a sweet richness to the mix—all built in a julep cup and garnished with a mint sprig, of course.
Hell Hath No Fury
Recipe courtesy Colin Shearn, beverage director/mixologist, St. Charles Exchange, Louisville, Kentucky
1 ounce Espolón Blanco Tequila
1 ounce Del Maguey VIDA mezcal
½ ounce demerara syrup
1 dash Bittermens Hellfire Shrub
Mint sprig, for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a julep cup and scoop in crushed ice. Stir briefly, then add more crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and 2 short straws.