A Jalapeño-Lime Julep – Because ‘Merica

posted in: Cinco de Mayo, Cocktails

jalapeno lime julep

This Saturday happens to be Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day. And really, what’s more festive than an excuse for Americans to get wasted on margaritas and a celebration of animal cruelty happening on the same damn day? Nothing, I say! But it’s totally not classy to have a julep in one hand and a margarita in the other — and I’m all about being fucking classy here, people — so I sort of just combined the two. I mean, not tequila and bourbon in the same drink (what kind of monster do you think I am?), just the essence of the two.

It was a happy little accident, really. Last week, when I made a small batch of jalapeño-basil syrup for my spicy marg, I also made a huge fucking batch of plain old jalapeño syrup, thinking I’d use it for an event. Then I put it in the freezer and forgot about it for a week. Oops. It was a nice surprise to find it in there, but even nicer to find it hadn’t totally exploded (just a little leakage). Since I needed simple syrup for a julep anyway, I decided to go with it, and then I figured if I was adding that, a little lime wouldn’t hurt, either. And that’s how this beautiful little Mexituckan fusion cocktail baby was born. If I didn’t call it a julep or a margarita, you wouldn’t even think twice about it. But I want you to think, like, 17 times about it, so here you fucking go.

Jalapeño-Lime Julep


For the syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 fresh jalapeños

For the drink:
A shitton of fresh mint leaves, plus a fuckton for garnish
2 ounces jalapeño syrup
2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice (approx. the juice of two limes)
2-3 slices fresh jalapeño, optional
2 ounces bourbon
Crushed ice

jalapeno lime julep


To make the jalapeño syrup: Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Once it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add 4 (more if you want it really spicy) fresh jalapeños (sliced however, with seeds). Cover, and let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discard the solid shit, then set the syrup aside (or refrigerate it) to cool. This will make about 1 cup and the extra will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to two weeks (and honestly, it will probably keep longer but I’m covering my ass here, okay?).

To make the drink: Muddle a light handful (or about 12-ish) fresh mint leaves with the jalapeño syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker or wide-mouth mason jar with a wooden spoon. I like to add a few slices of fresh jalapeño here for extra kick, but I’m a total freak and it’s absolutely not necessary. Add the bourbon along with a handful of ice, cover, and shake the shit out of it. Double strain (or just strain if you don’t mind mint and possibly jalapeño seeds) into a julep cup (or just a regular fucking cup) filled to the brim with crushed ice. Add a ridiculous amount of fresh mint leaves for garnish and enjoy!

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I love good whiskey, bad words, red lipstick, and black paint.