Food & Drink
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The Crazy Tea Julep Recipe DC Needs for Spring

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Photo: Eric Helgas/Styling: Ali Nardi

Nothing says spring, or the Kentucky Derby, like a julep. While it’s tough to improve upon a classic, we figured that Adams Morgan bartender Trevor Frye was up to it. He gave us his take, which you can kick up several hundred notches with a bonkers homemade tea syrup.

Photo: Eric Helgas/Styling: Ali Nardi

Until The Sun Comes Up

  • 1.33 ounce Bulleit bourbon
  • 0.75 ounce chamomile mint Arabic gomme syrup
  • 2 dashes tea bitters
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig and powdered sugar garnish

  • 4 chamomile tea bags (Mighty Leaf if you have it)
  • Sugar
  • 2-3 drops spearmint extract
  • 0.65 grams gum Arabic powder
  • Steep the chamomile in 32 oz of 200 F water for 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags and stir in equal parts tea to sugar. Mix well.
  • Add the spearmint extract and gum Arabic powder.
  • Using a blender, blend the mixture together until well mixed.
  • Let the syrup sit out uncovered to cool and settle.

    • Combine the bourbon, syrup, and bitters in a shaker tin.
    • Add ice, and shake and strain into a julep cup.
    • Add crushed ice to fill half the julep cup.
    • Lightly swizzle with a stirring spoon, top with crushed ice.
    • Add a sprig of pineapple mint, a light dusting of sugar, and a short metal straw.