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Muddled Blackberry Mint Julep: Off We Go

I remember when Fiona Apple first broke through my radar, I was in middle school or early high school. I thought she was super weird and creepy at the time but I loved her angst-filled music and her crazy huge gray eyes, and was perplexed/mesmerized by her music videos. Fast-forward years and years later, I am now officially obsessed with her latest album (I’m always late to develop my full-blown music obsessions as Matt wrote a really beautiful review of the album last summer when it first came out, and we paired it with a light salad we whipped up after returning from Sicily). Good music pulls your insides out a little, makes you tap your feet, nod your head, mouth the words, and makes your heart twist. It fills your ears and moves through your body like hot liquid that eventually settles in your middle. The focus of the post I wrote last July was beautifully-fleeting moments. The big and small things we learn to appreciate. Recently, I’ve found myself really appreciative of the way that music can transport me to special times and places. Reading Kathryn’s post made me think about just how much I associate memories with music.

There’s my first solo London tube ride (on the way to meet my mom for an epic mother-daughter trip to London, Prague, and Zurich). Something Corporate (remember them?) blasted through my headphones; all college-angsty. Dancing in my living room with Matt to Beirut over and over, as we practiced for our first dance at our wedding. Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill and my 13th birthday party with a wooden dance floor in my backyard and a bunch of boys who crashed the party, and my friend Lindsey’s mom who was mad about boys at our all-girls party. There’s Tupac and my first ‘adult’ trip to Vegas for my roommate’s 21st birthday. Sublime and the long, dusty drive back to San Diego from said adult trip (accompanied by a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and a wild hangover). And Beyonce’s first album, which brings me back to the handful of bars I frequented on virtually every weeknight while I studied abroad in Siena. There’s Yelle, which places me on a train in Portugal with my friend Maggie. I can go on and on and on. These songs, they are a part of my memories so much so that without them, these memories are faded, muted, quiet.

I didn’t intend for this post to be about music. I meant to tell you about a muddled blackberry mint julep that I made the other day, as a sort of ‘cheers’ and ‘good luck to ya’ on our upcoming (family) trip to Ohio, Nashville, and Louisville (we’re excited to check out the Hutton Hotel and 21c Museum Hotel). That’s right, Matt, me, and baby Neko (2 months old!) are going to visit family in Ohio and then taking a little mini Southern road trip. I’m the least Southern person you’ll ever meet but I love biscuits and grits, sweet tea and mint juleps. Can you blame me?

It’s almost April and pretty soon, the longer days will be accompanied by warmer temperatures that call for the good stuff: bourbon, mint, and inky blackberries. I can’t wait for those blackberry stains on my fingers, and they are oh-so-close.

Muddled Blackberry Mint Julep
Adapted from Food & Wine
*serves one

1 1/2 ounces of bourbon
handful of mint leaves, plus a few for garnish
1/4 cup of blackberries, plus one for garnish
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 extra large ice cube, plus a few small ones

1. Combine the bourbon, sugar, blackberries, and mint in a shaker. Thoroughly crush the blackberries and mint using a muddler. Add small ice cubes and shake well.
2. Place an extra large ice cube (we love this ice cube tray for this purpose) to a glass. Strain drink, pressing down on the solids, and pour over the ice cube. Garnish with a blackberry and a few fresh mint leaves.

Musical Pairings: Psychic Ills – One Track Mind + Muddled Blackberry Mint Julep

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Posted by Kasey


Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Nicole

    What a pretty drink! And filled with my favorite things, no less. It is interesting how songs can take you back to a moment and certain scents do that for me, too. It’s like magic. I can’t wait to hear about your trip. So excited for you!

  • Nicole

    What a pretty drink! And filled with my favorite things, no less. It is interesting how songs can take you back to a moment and certain scents do that for me, too. It’s like magic. I can’t wait to hear about your trip. So excited for you!

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Hehe I remember being obsessed with Fiona’s Criminal. I even had a special dance for it!!

    Mmm love the idea of a flavored julep. I’m sure you could do this with all different types of berries. Cheers!

  • Eileen

    Oh man, this is definitely making me look forward to the long late spring of California summer–all six months of it. :) This is what I want to drink while wearing a ridiculous flowered dress & hat and lying around in the backyard feeling fancy.

  • kickpleat

    It’s funny because of this morning in the shower I was thinking I’d love to make a fruity smash – and I was thinking blackberries. A blackberry mint julep? Even better. I love trips! It’ll be a great one. Make sure you stop by Quills Coffee in Louisville & you’ll love Please & Thank You (a cute cafe & record shop!).

  • Jess O’Toole

    Blackberry is my favorite berry and I bet it makes a delicious julep. Music really does mark the milestones of our lives. I still can’t bear to listen to Tom Waits- he was the soundtrack to all my teenage heartbreak. :) You are making me want to find some Destiny’s Child and have a dance party though.

  • Kasey

    Omg, I love it! And you’re so right; I want to try this with raspberries…and peaches!

  • Kasey

    Thanks so much for the Nashville recs, friend! They’re all saved to my Evernote account and I so hope I can make it to at least 50% of them (we’ll see how Neko does!) xoxo.

  • Kasey

    I love it when that happens. Thanks for the tips – a cafe + record shop?! Sounds right up our alley. Hope all’s well in Vancouver! x

  • Kasey

    Hehehe :) If I had a backyard, you bet I’d be wearing a sunhat and drinking this drink!

  • Kasey

    Oh! Destiny’s Child! So many great memories…I do love blackberries…when they’re ripe and sweet and bursting…they are the best kind. xo

  • Kathryn

    Thanks for the link Kasey! You’re so right, just hearing the opening line of a song can instantly transport me. It’s crazy the power that music has. It was so lovely seeing some of your musical memories (and dreaming about sipping this drink on a sunny evening!)

  • Tracy

    Something Corporate reminds me road trips with my best friend from high school throughout college. I always think of her when I hear Konstintine!

  • Joshua Hampton

    Blackberries aren’t exactly my favorite berries, but I do love mint julep. I’d love to try this mint julep recipe of yours and enjoy it with a book in hand.

  • sarah kieffer

    I think almost all my memories are associated with music; I know what you mean. Also, I *loved* Criminal when it got big – I still have it on a ‘road trip’ mix on my ipod. Your julep looks delicious. If only it was warm here…

  • Kate Ramos

    Ooo, this looks very tempting. I’ve been having fantasies about drinking a good cocktail, is that wrong?

  • Kate Ramos

    Ooo, this looks very tempting. I’ve been having fantasies about drinking a good cocktail, is that wrong?

  • Kasey

    Of course! Your post totally evoked some great memories for me, so thank you!

  • Kasey

    Enjoying a mint julep with a book in hand sounds like a perfect afternoon to me.

  • Kasey

    I still love that song! It reminds me of freshman year of college and some unrequited love.

  • Kasey

    I remember making the randomest mixes – the songs had no connection, the mix had no pacing…but I loved those mixes. I still have a few on my iPod, too!

  • Kasey

    Ain’t nothing wrong with that, Kate.

  • WithStyleGrace

    hope you’re having a wonderful trip!!

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Lisa! The trip was great. Neko did much better than expected. We did have 2 not-so-great dinner experiences but in the grand scheme of things, she was the perfect little baby :) Hope you are well! xoxo

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