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#DrinkNY: The McKenzie Bourbon Mint Julep

#NYSOM Happy Hour: We believe in celebrating, and have a tradition of ending each work week with a New York State-inspired cocktail. Here's our guide to mixing and sipping The McKenzie Bourbon Mint Julep.

"The McKenzie Bourbon Mint Julep"

See ya, Kentucky. Hello, New York. In the heart of the Finger Lakes region, there's a new kid in town. Finger Lakes Distilling's Mint Julep cocktail is made with the distillery's very own McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey. Crafted on the shores of Seneca Lake, the McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey gives unique — and local — flavor to this classic southern cocktail. There's a subtle sweetness from corn, a touch of spice from rye, even a buttery finish from its time aging in chardonnay barrels. The best part? The ingredients are all harvested from area farms. Top your serving off with water, sugar and mint and you've created a refreshing New York cocktail that rivals its Kentuckian counterpart. Thomas Earl McKenzie, one of the founders of Finger Lakes Distilling, agrees: "Some folks think you can only make bourbon in Kentucky. Bull. We went way back for this bourbon, aging it at a lower proof for that good old fashioned bourbon flavor."


  • 2 oz. McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey from Finger Lakes Distilling
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint


Muddle (i.e. mash) 2 mint sprigs, water and sugar in a highball glass. Add crushed ice and bourbon, then garnish with remaining mint sprig.


Rather than muddling the mint, water and sugar, you can opt for a simple syrup instead: Boil 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 5-10 mint sprigs; use 2 tbsp. of syrup per 1 Mint Julep cocktail. 

Need new cocktail glasses? Don't forget to serve up your aperitifs in Tom Stoenner's hand-blown tumblers, available on the NYSOM Marketplace.

Recipe provided by Finger Lakes Distilling.

With reporting by Audra Herman.

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