Rye Whiskey Julep Cocktail Drink

Rye Whiskey Julep

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley

This Rye Whiskey Julep recipe is your ticket to a flavorful summer cocktail! It’s an enjoyable drink you can easily make with straightforward ingredients.

Rye Whiskey Julep Recipe

Get cozy this winter with a simple Rye Whiskey Julep recipe! This cocktail uses rye whiskey, sugar , Angostura Bitters and fresh mint to create a refreshing and satisfying drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

181 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 dash soda water
  • 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig & icing sugar, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Julep Cup or Old Fashioned Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer
  • Straw

Instructions

  • Add Sugar Cube: Place 1 sugar cube in your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Angostura Aromatic Bitters: Pour 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters over the sugar cube.
  • Add Soda Water: Measure and pour 1 dash soda water on the sugar cube as well.
  • Muddle: Muddle the sugar cube to reduce it to powder and make sure it will fully dissolve later on.
  • Add Mint: Place 6-8 fresh mint leaves in one hand and gently smack it with the other, to release its aromas. Add the mint to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Rye Whiskey: Measure and pour 2 oz Rye Whiskey of your choice into the glass.
  • Add Ice: Fill the glass three-quarters full with crushed ice.
  • Stir: Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, churn well to combine the ingredients.
  • Add Ice: Add a straw and top up with more crushed ice.
  • Garnish: Place a mint sprig into the glass and sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish. Serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon, which is used in the classic Mint Julep, is a great alternative if you don't have rye whiskey. You can also use Scotch for a smokier flavor.
  • Sugar Cube: If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can use simple syrup instead (approx. ¾ oz/22 ml, feel free to adjust to taste).
  • Angostura Bitters: If you don’t have Angostura bitters on hand or if you want to experiment with a different twist, you can use other types of old-fashioned aromatic bitters. For a result that’s close to the original cocktail, try to choose bitters that are heavy on spices (such as clove and cinnamon) and low on sugar.
  • Mint Leaves: If fresh mint isn't available, you can use a few drops of mint extract. However, be careful, as it's pretty potent.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Whiskey Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic whiskey's flavor. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own rye whiskey substitute by infusing together rooibos tea and a bunch of spices of your liking (vanilla and cinnamon are always a good way to start). Mix all the ingredients together, add hot water, cover and let it infuse for at least 3h (the stronger the better, so if you have time let it infuse overnight. In that case, you can either let it rest in the fridge once the liquid has cooled down). Give it a taste, adjust the spice level if necessary and strain it once you’re happy with the result. Stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), this “tea-whiskey” can be kept for up to a week.
  • Angostura Bitters: You can add a drop of cinnamon and/or clove essence to your drink or substitute the sugar with cinnamon syrup to mimic the spicy kick of the bitters. Also note that a few dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your degree of tolerance on the topic, you can choose to omit the bitters or to include them in your preparation.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular rye whiskey & bitters, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Rye Whiskey Julep cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it can be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

The Rye Whiskey Julep cocktail is naturally vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including rye whiskey, are vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use animal products in their production process; always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
181
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
0.3
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Potassium
 
2
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.01
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
13
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.03
mg
0
%

 

Rye Whiskey Julep Cocktail Drink

Rye Whiskey Julep Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
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Get cozy this winter with a simple Rye Whiskey Julep recipe! This cocktail uses rye whiskey, sugar , Angostura Bitters and fresh mint to create a refreshing and satisfying drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 181

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 dash soda water
  • 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig & icing sugar - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Julep Cup or Old Fashioned Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer
  • Straw

Instructions

  • Add Sugar Cube: Place 1 sugar cube in your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Angostura Aromatic Bitters: Pour 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters over the sugar cube.
  • Add Soda Water: Measure and pour 1 dash soda water on the sugar cube as well.
  • Muddle: Muddle the sugar cube to reduce it to powder and make sure it will fully dissolve later on.
  • Add Mint: Place 6-8 fresh mint leaves in one hand and gently smack it with the other, to release its aromas. Add the mint to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Rye Whiskey: Measure and pour 2 oz Rye Whiskey of your choice into the glass.
  • Add Ice: Fill the glass three-quarters full with crushed ice.
  • Stir: Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, churn well to combine the ingredients.
  • Add Ice: Add a straw and top up with more crushed ice.
  • Garnish: Place a mint sprig into the glass and sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish. Serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon, which is used in the classic Mint Julep, is a great alternative if you don't have rye whiskey. You can also use Scotch for a smokier flavor.
  • Sugar Cube: If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can use simple syrup instead (approx. ¾ oz/22 ml, feel free to adjust to taste).
  • Angostura Bitters: If you don’t have Angostura bitters on hand or if you want to experiment with a different twist, you can use other types of old-fashioned aromatic bitters. For a result that’s close to the original cocktail, try to choose bitters that are heavy on spices (such as clove and cinnamon) and low on sugar.
  • Mint Leaves: If fresh mint isn't available, you can use a few drops of mint extract. However, be careful, as it's pretty potent.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Rye Whiskey Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic whiskey substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic whiskey's flavor. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own rye whiskey substitute by infusing together rooibos tea and a bunch of spices of your liking (vanilla and cinnamon are always a good way to start). Mix all the ingredients together, add hot water, cover and let it infuse for at least 3h (the stronger the better, so if you have time let it infuse overnight. In that case, you can either let it rest in the fridge once the liquid has cooled down). Give it a taste, adjust the spice level if necessary and strain it once you’re happy with the result. Stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), this “tea-whiskey” can be kept for up to a week.
  • Angostura Bitters: You can add a drop of cinnamon and/or clove essence to your drink or substitute the sugar with cinnamon syrup to mimic the spicy kick of the bitters. Also note that a few dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your degree of tolerance on the topic, you can choose to omit the bitters or to include them in your preparation.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular rye whiskey & bitters, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Rye Whiskey Julep cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it can be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

The Rye Whiskey Julep cocktail is naturally vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including rye whiskey, are vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use animal products in their production process; always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

What is a Rye Whiskey Julep?

A Rye Whiskey Julep is a whiskey-based cocktail made of rye whiskey, fresh mint leaves, sugar, Angostura Bitters and crushed ice. This drink is relatively easy to make but requires some attention to detail in the preparation process.

The Rye Whiskey Julep is a classic Mint Julep variant that traditionally uses bourbon instead of rye whiskey. The substitution gives this version an extra spicy kick that complements the freshness of mint.

An exciting aspect of this cocktail is its serving tradition – often served in silver or pewter cups known as julep cups. These metal containers are not just for aesthetics; they help keep your drink cold longer due to their heat-conductive properties, making them perfect for sipping on warm days.

A side shot of a Rye Whiskey Julep cocktail in a julep cup on a wooden board placed on a green table in front of plant leaves and a red background

What is a Rye Whiskey Julep made of – The ingredients

To put together a Rye Whiskey Julep, have these ingredients ready:

  • Rye Whiskey: The base spirit of the cocktail, it provides a robust and spicy flavor.
  • Fresh Mint Leaves: A key ingredient in the classic Mint Julep; they add a refreshing and aromatic touch to the drink.
  • Sugar Cube: Balances the whiskey’s strength with sweetness.
  • Angostura Bitters: Adds complexity with its blend of spices and herbs, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the cocktail.
  • Crushed Ice: Chills the drink quickly and dilutes the strong flavors slightly over time.
  • Mint Sprig: Serves as a garnish, enhancing the visual appeal and adding a hint of mint aroma.

Rye Whiskey, Angostura aromatic bitters, sugar cube, mint leaves, and soda water laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Rye Whiskey Julep?

Discover the art of making a Rye Whiskey Julep with our step-by-step instructions:

1
<p>Begin by placing a sugar cube at the bottom of your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The sugar cube will provide the sweetness that balances the robust flavors of the rye whiskey and mint.</p>

Begin by placing a sugar cube at the bottom of your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The sugar cube will provide the sweetness that balances the robust flavors of the rye whiskey and mint.

2
<p>Pour 5 dashes of Angostura bitters over the sugar cube. The bitters add a layer of complexity and depth to the cocktail, with hints of spice and herbs.</p>

Pour 5 dashes of Angostura bitters over the sugar cube. The bitters add a layer of complexity and depth to the cocktail, with hints of spice and herbs.

3
<p>Measure and pour a bar spoon (about 1 dash) of soda water over the sugar cube. The soda water helps to dissolve the sugar, making it easier to integrate into the drink.</p>

Measure and pour a bar spoon (about 1 dash) of soda water over the sugar cube. The soda water helps to dissolve the sugar, making it easier to integrate into the drink.

4
<p>Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube into a fine powder. This ensures that the sugar will fully dissolve, distributing sweetness evenly throughout the cocktail.</p>

Use a muddler to crush the sugar cube into a fine powder. This ensures that the sugar will fully dissolve, distributing sweetness evenly throughout the cocktail.

5
<p>Take 6-8 fresh mint leaves in one hand and gently smack them with the other hand to release their aromatic oils.</p>

Take 6-8 fresh mint leaves in one hand and gently smack them with the other hand to release their aromatic oils.

6
<p>Add the mint leaves to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The mint will provide a refreshing and fragrant note to the drink.</p>

Add the mint leaves to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The mint will provide a refreshing and fragrant note to the drink.

7
<p>Measure and pour 2 ounces of Rye Whiskey into the glass. The rye whiskey gives the Julep its distinctive bold and round flavor, complementing the sweetness of the sugar and the freshness of the mint.</p>

Measure and pour 2 ounces of Rye Whiskey into the glass. The rye whiskey gives the Julep its distinctive bold and round flavor, complementing the sweetness of the sugar and the freshness of the mint.

8
<p>Fill the glass three-quarters full with crushed ice. Crushed ice is essential for the Julep as it chills the drink quickly and provides the perfect level of dilution.</p>

Fill the glass three-quarters full with crushed ice. Crushed ice is essential for the Julep as it chills the drink quickly and provides the perfect level of dilution.

9
<p>Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, churn the mixture well to combine all the ingredients. This ensures that the flavors meld together and the drink is evenly chilled.</p>

Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, churn the mixture well to combine all the ingredients. This ensures that the flavors meld together and the drink is evenly chilled.

10
<p>Add a straw</p>

Add a straw

11
<p>Top up the glass with more crushed ice to create a heaping mound above the rim. This not only keeps the drink cold but also gives it a classic Julep presentation.</p>

Top up the glass with more crushed ice to create a heaping mound above the rim. This not only keeps the drink cold but also gives it a classic Julep presentation.

12
<p>Take a sprig of mint and slap it over the back of your hand to release its aroma. Then, place it into the glass, ensuring it is near the straw so the drinker can enjoy the aroma with each sip. </p>

Take a sprig of mint and slap it over the back of your hand to release its aroma. Then, place it into the glass, ensuring it is near the straw so the drinker can enjoy the aroma with each sip.

13
<p>Sprinkle a little icing sugar on top of the mint sprig for an elegant touch.</p>

Sprinkle a little icing sugar on top of the mint sprig for an elegant touch.

Serve immediately and enjoy your refreshing Rye Mint Julep!

A Rye Whiskey Julep cocktail, shot from above, in a julep cup on a beige surface surrounded by Rye Whiskey, Angostura aromatic bitters, sugar cube, mint leaves, and soda water

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FAQ

How many calories does a Rye Whiskey Julep contain?
A standard serving of a Rye Whiskey Julep contains approximately 200-250 calories. This can vary slightly depending on the specific ingredients used and their quantities.
What is the strength of a Rye Whiskey Julep?
Like most cocktails, the strength of a Rye Whiskey Julep depends on the amount of alcohol used in its preparation. Typically, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 25-30%, translating to 50-60 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in a Rye Whiskey Julep?
As the name suggests, the primary alcohol used in a Rye Whiskey Julep is rye whiskey. This gives the cocktail its distinctive flavor profile.
In what type of glass is a Rye Whiskey Julep served?
Traditionally, a Rye Whiskey Julep is served in a Julep tin (or Rocks glass if Julep cups are not available).
What does a Rye Whiskey Julep taste like?
A Rye Whiskey Julep offers a complex blend of flavors. The rye whiskey provides a spicy and robust base, while the added sugar and mint lend sweetness and freshness, respectively. The result is a balanced cocktail that's both refreshing (yet pretty strong!) and satisfying.
How is a Rye Whiskey Julep served concerning ice?
A Rye Whiskey Julep is usually served over crushed ice. This not only chills the drink but also helps dilute the rye whiskey's strong flavors, making it more palatable.
Is there a specific time or occasion to enjoy a Rye Whiskey Julep?
While there's no hard and fast rule about when to enjoy a Rye Whiskey Julep, it's traditionally associated with warmer weather due to its refreshing qualities. It's also a popular choice for celebrations like the Kentucky Derby. However, its balanced flavor makes it an excellent choice for any occasion.

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