Once spring turns into summer and the sun is high in the sky, people flock to patios for vitamin D and cold drinks. But those drinks too seldom include whiskey. Whether the bottle is bourbon or rye or hailing from Scotland or Ireland, whiskey is often pushed to the back of the bar and replaced by clear spirits like white rum, gin, vodka and blanco tequila. This holds especially true when blenders are involved. But Carlos Ramos would like to change that.
Ramos is the bar manager at Villa Azur in Miami, a hotspot for dining, drinks, entertainment, music and art in a distinct space that combines the atmosphere of South Beach with that of Mediterranean France’s La Côte d’Azur. He channels the atmosphere with his Miamian’s Julep, a fresh take on the classic Mint Julep that was inspired by the tropical vibes, culture and eternal summer of Miami.
“The bourbon complements the refreshing mint flavor to give you something that stimulates the senses and quenches your bourbon craving,” he says.
Juleps are proof that ice-cold whiskey drinks belong front-and-center during summer. The Miamian’s Julep is no exception, but it’s not your typical julep. It includes the required whiskey and mint, but it adds coconut cream and crème de banane (French banana liqueur) to the mix, plus a dash of fresh lime juice to balance the sweetness. The ingredients are blended together with ice to create a slushy, green-hued drink that’s loaded with flavor.
The Miamian’s Julep is topped with bourbon-flambéed banana slices to put the final touch on a whiskey-forward drink that is sweet, creamy, tropical and perfect for summer.
- 2 ounces Woodinville bourbon
- 1 ounce coconut cream
- 1 ounce crème de banane
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 10 sprigs mint
- Garnish: bourbon-flambéed banana slices*
- Garnish: mint sprig
- Garnish: powdered sugar
Add the bourbon, coconut cream, crème de banane, lime juice and mint sprigs into a blender with 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a copper julep mug.
Garnish with bourbon-flambéed banana slices, a mint sprig and powdered sugar.
*Bourbon-flambéed banana slices: Sauté banana slices in a pan, add a little whiskey, then ignite to burn off the alcohol. Alternatively, use a kitchen torch on sugar-coated banana slices for more caramelized flavor.