This is a special post dear to my heart, and a perfect day to post it as I have just returned to my Southern roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  My family goes back 5 generations in these mountains, and I can feel the quiet strength of my ancestors in the cool mountain breeze.

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of hosting my Southern belle of a grandmother, Mildred Manning, aka Granny.  Granny was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1921.  She is epitome of Southern grace.  Granny is 93 years old, and it is as if she hasn’t skipped a beat.  She always has her hair and make up on point, coordinating outfits with one of her 12 pairs of TOMS shoes, (it’s all she wears) and when she orders a drink, Jack Daniels on the rocks, she asks the bartender in her sweet Southern drawl, “Make sure it will get my attention.”  Granny has taught me so much about hosting, as this woman can seriously throw a party.  I remember her parties when I was a little girl and how beautiful and thought out everything was.  It was this magical world that I wanted to experience.  Granny also spent many of her years as a interior decorator for her friends.  She and my grandfather, Mutt, had a beautiful garden in their backyard, which is where I first learned about gardening and what inspired me to start my own garden.  Granny also has over 20 rose bushes (no exaggeration) that she keeps up with and give bouquets to family and friends as they stop by.  Basically, I think the world of this strong Scorpio woman, and it was such a special gift to have her out to see my garden since she has inspired me in so many ways to start my own.

Both being avid bourbon lovers, I was lucky enough to score Granny’s heirloom Southern sterling silver mint julep cups.  So when she came for a visit from North Carolina to Colorado, I knew just what I wanted to make her.  And since peaches are local to both her home state of Georgia and to Colorado, I made this peach mint julep variation.

I make my juleps with no sugar. I feel like the peach and peach bitters balance out the bourbon without the need for any simple syrup. Of course if you like a sweeter variation, feel free to add in a little simple syrup. Cheers! 

The Palette. Bourbon, mint, peach and peach bitters.

The Palette. Bourbon, mint, peach and peach bitters.

Three Generations. Granny, my beautiful mom, Marilyn, and myself.

Three Generations. Granny, my beautiful mom, Marilyn, and myself.

Peach Mint Juleps

makes 2.

  • 4 ounces of bourbon
  • handful of mint
  • 1 fresh summer peach
  • peach bitters 

Start with filling two julep cups or decorative vessels of your choice with crushed ice. I pulsate mine in the blender for a few seconds at a time.  In a separate cocktail shaker, mix the bourbon a handful of mint, (save two pieces for garnish) and the sliced peach into the shaker. Put a few dashes of peach bitters in as well. Muddle the peaches and mint into the bourbon for about a minute.  Strain and serve over your crushed iced vessels.

Sip with loved ones and enjoy.

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