• Monday, 17 June 2019

Garden and Gun Partners with Maker's Mark and Bourbon Country to Kick Off 2019 Mint Julep Month

Apr 17, 2019 (2 months ago) |
CHARLESTON, S.C: Garden and Gun, widely known as the authority on Southern culture, in partnership with Maker's Mark and Bourbon Country, announces Mint Julep Month (April 4 to May 4)-a campaign that celebrates the mint julep beyond one day of horse racing.
Mint Julep Month was started in 2013 by Louisville Tourism to honor the famous bourbon cocktail and encourage excitement throughout the city and along the Urban Bourbon Trail leading up to Derby season. This year, participants are encouraged to drink better mint juleps for a better world by ditching single-use plastic straws and supporting water cleanup initiatives organized by Maker's Mark.

For thirty days, hundreds of bars and restaurants across the nation will join Garden & Gun, Maker's Mark, and Bourbon Country in toasting Mint Julep Month with custom cocktails and special events. This year's campaign festivities kick off with an invitation-only event in New York City, featuring original twists on the mint julep cocktail created by four distinguished bartenders from D.C., Illinois, South Carolina, and Texas. The celebration continues at participating bars, restaurants, and establishments across the country that will serve limited-edition julep cocktails throughout the month, counting down to Derby season's 145th year. Learn more at mintjulepmonth.com.

Mint Julep Month participants are encouraged to help Maker's Mark create environmental change by eliminating the use of plastic straws in their drinks and replacing them with sustainable alternatives. Beyond the straw alone, Mint Julep Month signals the start of Maker's Mark's ongoing 'Cocktails for Cleanups' initiative to remove trash from the world's oceans and waterways, in partnership with outdoor brand United By Blue. Through consumer engagement during Mint Julep Month and organized group cleanups, Maker's Mark will remove up to 75,000 pounds of trash from the world's waterways in 2019.

The mint julep cocktail relies on natural, clean water in more ways than one, starting with our bourbon itself, which I personally like to describe as 'nature distilled,' says Rob Samuels, Maker's Mark Chief Distillery Officer. Beginning with naturally limestone-filtered water sourced directly from the spring-fed lake here at our distillery, water is at the heart of everything we do at Maker's Mark. That's why we're so excited that Mint Julep Month will allow us to clean up waterways across the country, all while enjoying one of our favorite classic cocktails.

All season long, fans can support the brand's effort to create change by posting an image of their favorite Maker's Mark mint julep on social media with the hashtag #CocktailsForCleanups. Learn more at makersmark.com/cleanups.

Each issue of Garden & Gun celebrates the best of Southern food and drink, and the title of the magazine is truly a metaphor for our love of the land and the conservation ethic that's born of the sporting lifestyle, says Christian Bryant, Garden & Gun vice president and publisher. We are proud to join efforts with our Mint Julep Month partners Maker's Mark and Bourbon Country to underscore that messaging while supporting the cleanup of the world's oceans and waterways.

The mint julep is a classic cocktail made with quality Kentucky bourbon, crushed ice, sugar, and fresh mint, and is in many ways a symbol of Southern hospitality, heritage, and culture in cocktail form. The iconic drink dates back to the late 1700s, and as early as 1816, the now famous silver julep cups were awarded as coveted prizes at county fairs in Kentucky. In 1938 Churchill Downs in Louisville named the cocktail the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, where over 120,000 mint juleps are consumed on Derby weekend each year.

The humble straw, invented specifically for use in that illustrious mint julep, is every bit as iconic as the cocktail itself. Unfortunately, the paper straws of the 1800s have evolved into the modern plastic straws that contribute heavily to plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways. It's believed that America now uses over 500 million plastic straws each day, for juleps and otherwise. Though straws are just part of the world's plastic problem, eliminating them is the first step in creating better cocktails for a better world.

On Thursday, April 4, Mint Julep Month will kick off with an event at Simon & the Whale at Freehand New York. Four bartenders from D.C., Illinois, South Carolina, and Texas have crafted original cocktail recipes inspired by the traditional julep. The featured cocktails will be served alongside a Southern-inspired menu during the party.

Mint Julep Month wraps up Saturday, May 4, with Kentucky Derby viewing parties at Tradd's in Charleston, South Carolina, and at Launderette in Austin, Texas.

Mint Julep Month takes place from April 4 to May 4. Visit mintjulepmonth.com to register your business as a partner and search for participating bars and restaurants in your city.


CARTHUSIAN julep cocktail created by Jayce McConnell. McConnell is the head bartender at Edmund's Oast in Charleston, South Carolina.
GOLDEN GAIT julep cocktail created by Alex Negranza. Negranza is the operations director at Tongue-Cut Sparrow in Houston, Texas.
BLESS YOUR HEART julep cocktail created by Kristina Magro. Magro is a bartender at Sportsman's Club in Chicago, Illinois.
SPARKLEBERRY julep cocktail created by Darlin Kulla. Kulla is the beverage director at Succotash in Washington, D.C., owned by Louisville-based chef Edward Lee.

The featured bartenders' original recipes and complete how-to videos can be found on the official Mint Julep Month website at mintjulepmonth.com/signature-cocktails/.

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Garden and Gun Partners with Maker's Mark and Bourbon Country to Kick Off 2019 Mint Julep Month

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