Strawberry-Infused Mint Julep

strawberry-infused mint julep

Sometimes I find an ingredient so delicious or a concept so exciting that I feel like I’m holding onto a big secret. When I finally get the chance to share these big discoveries with you all, I feel like a giddy little kid on the inside (hands clapping, jumping up and down, rah rah rah!).

Today is one of those days. I’ve discovered the delights of infused liquors. They’re so good, you guys! And so easy! I was always put off by the waiting time for infusions, but after one sip of my first infused liquor, I realized that infusions are absolutely worth the wait. Infusions allow you to capture the essence of ripe fruit in its prime. Once you’ve made the infusion, you can enjoy it simply, over ice or mixed with club soda and a splash of citrus, or go a step further and make a traditional drink taste magical.

how to make strawberry-infused bourbon

If you, too, have felt intimidated at the prospect of making your own infusions, hear me out: all I’m asking you to do is slice some strawberries, pour some liquor over them and screw on a lid. You can do this!

strawberry-infused bourbon

5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry-Infused Bourbon
Author: 
Recipe type: Infusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Bourbon made sweeter with the real strawberries. It's so simple! This is a basic infusion recipe, so you can substitute another strong liquor for the bourbon, or different fruit for the strawberries.
Ingredients
  • Organic strawberries
  • Bourbon
Instructions
  1. Rinse the strawberries, then chop off the leafy tops and discard them. Chop the strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Transfer the strawberries into a jar large enough to hold all the strawberries and leave a couple of inches of room at the top.
  2. Pour bourbon over the mixture, screw on the lid tightly and give it a shake. Store the jar in a dark place, like in a cupboard, for anywhere from 3 to 7 days. Try to give the jar a shake once a day (I kept the jar in a cabinet right next to my coffee so I remembered to shake it every morning).
  3. When you're ready to strain the mixture, place a mesh colander over an appropriately sized bowl. If you have one, you can use a nut milk bag, clean paint straining bag, cheese cloth or even a coffee filter in place of or in addition to the colander. Pour the mixture over the colander/bag/filter to catch the strawberries and any strawberry debris. Discard the strawberries. If you see any debris in the bowl, pour the vodka through your strainer once or twice more to remove it.
  4. Store the strawberry bourbon in the refrigerator for up to a month, or in the freezer to retain its fresh flavor even longer.
Notes
  • Adapted from David Lebovitz and Tracy of Shutterbean.
  • My recipe specifies organic strawberries because conventionally-grown strawberries are high in pesticides, and you definitely don't want to sip down extra chemicals, right? Use the tastiest organic berries you can find.
  • There's no need to use high-end liquor here, though I wouldn't recommend any liquor that you wouldn't want to consume in its original state (e.g. McCormick's), either. I used Weller for this jar, but Jim Beam is another good choice.

strawberry infused bourbon

strawberry mint julep recipe

Last summer’s cocktail series was all about muddled fruits, and I think I muddled all the fruit I could muddle, so this summer will the be the summer of infusions. I hope you all are as excited as I am. Since strawberries are starting to hit the markets (and my love for bourbon is no secret), I decided that my first infusion recipe would be a strawberry-infused mint julep.

Southern traditionalists make their mint juleps with mint, sugar, bourbon and ice (only!) and serve them in silver julep cups. I am no traditionalist, however! I took liberties with my recipe, tempering the strong bourbon flavor with the taste of fresh strawberries and a light drizzle of honey instead of sugar. I served the resulting cocktails in little glasses from the thrift store to show off their shockingly pink hue. Despite its girly color, I assure you that this twist still packs a punch and will appeal to both genders.

strawberry mint julep
Strawberry-Infused Mint Julep Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 7 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (to taste)
  • 2 1/2 ounces strawberry-infused bourbon (see recipe above)
  • 1 strawberry, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a rocks glass, muddle mint with a little drizzle of honey (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon superfine sugar).
  2. Pour in the bourbon, fill the glass with ice (preferably crushed ice) and stir until the glass starts to sweat. Add a splash or two of water, if desired, and stir again. Garnish with additional mint leaves and/or the mid-section of a strawberry (as shown in photos).

Notes: Adapted from The Seasonal Cocktail Companion by Maggie Savarino.

P.s. I set up a facebook album with links to my recipes for Cinco de Mayo! Check it out!

Comments

  1. says

    One big yes! Organic strawberry infused bourbon? A woman one hundred percent after my own heart. I was gifted some JD Tennessee Honey a little while ago some I’m gonna get even sweeter with it now. Stoked! Thanks lady.

  2. says

    Omg! I want this and I want this now. I love bourbon, but would not have thought to throw strawberries into the mix. Genius! Thanks for posting such a fabulous recipe :)

  3. says

    Let me see…I have bourbon and I have strawberries. It’s Friday….
    all signs point to making this today! I can’t believe I haven’t tried fruit infused alcohol before.

  4. says

    This looks delicious and so refreshing! I’ve been on a mojito kick for the last week, but I’m thinking some strawberry-infused bourbon will have to be next… :)

  5. says

    Absolutely love how fresh this cocktail drink is! Mint, strawberries, and honey as a natural sweetener. What can be better than this? I am usually not a big fan of cocktail drinks because of all the sugar in it and those sweetish liquers that taste so fake to me. But this drink has none of that and is totally right up my alley!!! :)

    • says

      I can’t stand sugary liqueurs and simple syrup, either, but I love making cocktails with fresh fruit! Hope you’ll give this one a try.

  6. says

    beautiful pictures! i love the idea of infused liquors! so perfect for summer.

    ps: my dad’s dog growing up was a dachshund named cookie :)

  7. says

    Oh my goodness this is such a delicious idea! I’m buying bourbon on the way home from work just to try this…I think this will be our new Cinco de Mayo drink! Thanks Kate!

  8. says

    I can’t do pulp or “bits of stuff” in my drinks, so I love this infusion idea. Something I never thought of trying on my own – but you make it sound so easy I’ll just have to now :)

  9. says

    Good grief, what have you done?! The local strawberries haven’t arrived in my corner of the world yet, but when they do I was planning to do a vodka infusion. But this! I’ll have to try bourbon too.

  10. Mark K says

    Kate – usually like my Bourbon on the rocks without a lot of adornments, but will have to try this. I’ve got bottles of Hudson a small Hudson Valley NY producer, Makers Mark and Old Granddads, in my cabinet and been meaning to pick up some Blantons.
    Was curious what your favorite Bourbon is?

    • says

      Hey Mark, I’m not a bourbon connoisseur by any stretch (and can’t afford the really good stuff!), but I like Weller and Jim Beam. I wouldn’t use fancy bourbon for an infusion, but the strawberry flavor was really nice with Weller bourbon.

      • Mark K. says

        Kate – good point not to use the top shelf for the infusion. We live in Westchester county – north of NYC and the strawberries are not out yet at the farmers market but will definately try this with Wellers.

        Hey enjoy your trip to NYC!. If you and your friend have time, you should check out the ICE Culinary School – Recreational divison one night cooking classes. Its on 23rd Street not far from Mario Batali’s Eataly. They are awesome.

  11. Catalina @ Cake with says

    I love mint, and when paired with strawberries it sounds amazing! Great recipe and photos!

  12. says

    How clever and creative! I have to admit that bourbon makes me a little nervous (I’m more of a wine gal) but infused with strawberries? Yes, please. I think I will take one! Gorgeous photos, Kathryne!

  13. Grace says

    Man! I have always wanted to infuse my own liquor. This seems like a good place to start! Your timing of a mint julep recipe is perfect–the day before the Kentucky Derby! :)

    • says

      Hi Clint, sorry for my delayed response. I don’t see why you couldn’t eat the strawberries afterward but I don’t think you would want to. They will taste intensely bourbon-y, and their color and flavor will have transferred to the bourbon.

  14. Jippy McNish says

    I’ve been toying with the idea of a strawberry and peppercorn infusion. I can’t decide whether this would go better with the lower tones of bourbon or the clear background of vodka or run. Any tips?

    • says

      Hey Jippy, that’s a fantastic question. I have never tried a peppercorn infusion. I think I’d go with vodka since the peppery notes would stand out better.

      • Jippy McNish says

        Have just set up both! Putting a wee bit of orange peel in there too and some vanilla in the vodka. Will give an update as to the victor!

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