I was judge at the annual Pre-Derby Four Roses Julep Contest this week in Louisville. We covered it as a video story that I invite you to watch here with all mint julep recipes. First place used cherries, a Gastrique and Tamarind Soda..check it out.

Varanese's Rory McCollister’s “Cherry Blossom Julep”

· 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
· 1 1/2 oz Dried Cherry Lemon Zest Gastrique
· Fresh Mint
· 2 oz Tamarind Soda
· 2 oz Ginger Ale

To make the Gastrique:

· Boil and reduce
· Dried Cherries
· 2 cups sugar
· 2 cups water
· Juice of 3 lemons
· Zest of 1 lemon


Using a large mixing glass, muddle gastrique and mint. Add bourbon and shake well. Pour into tall highball glass and top with equal parts tamarind soda and ginger ale. Garnish with candied ginger rose, mint sprig and lemon zest.