This post was made in partnership with Truvia®. Recipes and ideas are my own.
As much as we needed the rain here in Southern California, with this drought that’s been going on for years, I must say I am SO happy to see blue skies and warmer temps. I’m getting all the tropical feels now, everything is green, and racing season is just around the corner.
I will take any excuse to wear one of my many oversized hats, and it’s even better when cocktails are involved. The Mint Julep is the traditional drink in Kentucky, and I know that some people have very strong opinions about the drink in its purest form… but I am not one of those people. While a Mint Julep is refreshing on a hot day out in the sun, I wanted to give my race day drink a little tropical twist.
Together with Truvia® I’m taking the traditional Mint Julep and sweetening it with a rich, toasted coconut syrup made with Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, which has a deep, rich caramel flavor you expect from brown sugar with 75% fewer calories per serving than brown sugar. The flavor of the Brown Sugar Blend intensifies the caramel-y flavors of the bourbon and the spicy notes of the rum. The toasted coconut gives a wonderfully nutty and fragrant aroma to the syrup that works really well with the mint, transporting you to a lush tropical locale, no matter where you’re sipping it.
If you’re hosting a racing party, these drinks are easily batch-able too! I’ve included a note in the recipe if you’d like to serve up multiple of these cocktails.
Tropical Toasted Coconut Mint Julep
10 mint leaves
2 ounces bourbon
1/4 ounce Toasted Coconut Syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 ounce aged rum
mint, toasted coconut flakes, pineapples for garnish
In the bottom of a julep cup (or Collins glass), muddle the mint leaves with the syrup. Pack the glass with crushed ice and pour in bourbon. Drizzle rum on top and garnish with mint leaves, toasted coconut flakes and a pineapple spear. Giant hat or seersucker suit optional.
Toasted Coconut Syrup
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
3/4 cup Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 cup water
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Spread coconut out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing the coconut every few minutes or so, for 5-10 minutes. Coconut should be golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and water. Bring to just a boil, whisking constantly to dissolve sugar, and then turn heat down to a simmer. Add 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut (the other 1/2 cup will be reserved as a garnish for drinks). Whisk to combine everything and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until room temperature. Strain out coconut (I use a nut bag for this) into an airtight container. Use immediately or refrigerate. Will keep up to one month.
To batch this recipe: Add 1/4 cup packed mint leaves in the bottom of a pitcher. Muddle with a 1/2 cup of Toasted Coconut Syrup and then add in 2 cups bourbon. Stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. When ready to serve, pack 8 julep cups with crushed ice, fill with mixture and garnish with mint and toasted coconut flakes. Optionally drizzle 1/4 ounce of aged rum over the ice.