Just because it always feels like springtime in LA doesn't mean that we shouldn't mark the most wonderful time of the year -- and the Kentucky Derby -- with that seasonal essential, the mint julep. To get you the most lip-smacking recipe possible, we hit up Downtown bartender Mary Bartlett for a spin on the old standby. 

"Mint juleps are simple and classic," says Mary. "I tried to stay true to that, while bringing in a little spice and citrus. This julep has spicy, warm flavors but it's still a mint julep at heart."

Photo: Eric Helgas/Styling: Ali Nardi

The Zip Zap Julep

Ingredients:

  • 1.1 ounce Bulleit bourbon
  • 0.23 ounce Amaro Montenegro
  • 0.25 ounce cinnamon syrup
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 4 hearty mint sprigs
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Measure cinnamon syrup and pour into serving glass.
  • Add about 10 mint leaves.
  • Muddle lightly.
  • Add bourbon and amaro to mixture.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Add pebble ice or crushed ice.
  • Mix ice in using bar spoon and push mint back to the bottom of the glass.
  • Top with additional ice so it's slightly above the top of the glass or tin.
  • Add a hearty mint bouquet and straw.
  • Lightly dust mint and ice with powdered sugar.

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