Modern Riff: Kentucky Mule + Julep Mash-up
The best Kentucky Mule I've ever had was in...you guessed it, Kentucky. At one of my favorite downtown Louisville spots, a restaurant called Merle's Whiskey Kitchen located just across from Old Forester. You remember restaurants, yea? Anyways, two of these refreshing beverages on a hot summer day on the Merle's patio, or any patio really, will set you right. One of the main takeaways from their version is using lemon instead of lime, which I think is more complimentary to the bourbon. My adaptation goes a half step further and adds some leaves of fresh mint + crushed ice. Now we've got ourselves a Mint Julep and KY Mule meet cute. Spoiler alert: things will go well.
Kentucky Mule, Julep Style
about 5 mint leaves, and one for garnish
heavy 2 oz Kentucky made bourbon, preferably 100 proof
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
about 4-5 oz ginger beer, such as Fever Tree (leans citrusy) or Bundaberg (leans sweet)
Add the mint leaves and bourbon to your mule cup, give them a good stir but there's not need to actually muddle. Mint is delicate and the oils should release without much effort. Add lemon and crushed ice about 3/4 to the top, stir to settle the ice and liquid, top with ginger beer and stir again. Top with crushed ice, garnish with mint leaf and serve with a paper straw, or if drinking from metal vessels doesn't bother you, just tuck in.