I’ve come across a plethora of recipes for mint juleps on the internet, but I am often asked about non-alcoholic mint juleps. Technically, there is no such option for a mint julep, a drink simply consisting of bourbon, simple syrup, and mint. The bourbon isn’t something added to the drink, it IS the drink even if it is just 2 Tbsp. And I am told that julep purists get quite feisty when someone fiddles with their longstanding traditional libation….
However, there is such a thing as a champagne julep. (Oh my! Doesn’t that sound fabulous?) And a champagne julep is a horse of quite a different color. With multiple ingredients, a champagne julep gives us plenty of wiggle room to come up with a comparable non-alcoholic option. And did I mention that they are just about the prettiest little things you’d ever find on a party platter?
(I also included links to classic mint julep and champagne julep recipes below for those interested in more -ahem- traditional derby day options.)
- 2 liters white grape juice (or 2 cans frozen concentrate)
- 1 liter apple juice
- 2 liters ginger ale
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 qt strawberries
- 20-30 mint leaves
Pour the grape juice, apple juice, and ginger ale in a large punch bowl or decorative beverage dispenser.
Halve or quarter 10 or so strawberries to put in the bowl or dispenser. Thinly slice the rest of the strawberries to use as garnish for each champagne flute or other dainty cocktail glass.
Finish with a red and white or other pretty straw, coffee stirrer, or cocktail straw. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Here’s a couple more peeks. I really couldn’t help it. They’re just so pretty.