If you ask me, there are two things in life that signify spring…a bouquet of just-harvested tulips from a local farmer’s market…and a refreshing mint julep.
Why, you might ask?
Well, my first mint julep experience was at a rooftop bar in San Francisco on a gorgeous 75 degree day…the birds were chirping, the flowers were in full bloom, and there I was, falling in love with this whiskey and mint cocktail…and it has been synonymous with spring in California ever since.
So, if you’re ready to join me in sipping and savoring this craft cocktail with a strong spring vibe, grab your ingredients, a fun tumbler, and let’s get mixing…
- 8 mint leaves
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces whiskey (or bourbon)
- Garnish: mint sprig
- Garnish: Angostura bitters (optional)
- In a julep cup, rocks glass, or any gorgeous tumbler you’re dying to use, lightly muddle the mint leaves in your simple syrup.
- Add the whiskey or bourbon, then pack the glass tightly with crushed ice.
- Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.
- Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome, and garnish with a mint sprig and a few drops of bitters (optional).
- Pro tip: Firmly slap the mint sprig on the back of your hand before garnishing; this releases the oils to make the mint more aromatic.
- Take that first refreshing sip. Ahhh…
Now, while you’re slowly sipping that signature spring cocktail, let’s talk interiors. When I think of spaces inspired by this cocktail that invigorates, excites, and awakens your senses from their winter slumber, I envision streams of sunshine through oversized picture windows, bold decor choices, and color palettes that bring an undeniable energy to the room.
I imagine spaces that are at once light and airy while also drenched in personality…vibrant and lively. I picture spaces that feel renewed and refreshed, with a touch of the unexpected. Interiors that cast off the shadow of longer, darker days past and step into the spotlight, clothed in radiant colors, sumptuous textures, and joyful patterns.
Wondering what those interiors might look like? Let me share a few of my faves…
#BestSippedWith: Haute, Harmonious, Peaceful Places
Something about this space simply makes me happy. It has a spring vibe that communicates sunshine and a bold wallpaper that seeks to brighten the day of anyone who enters.
The contrast of the floors against the foliage and seemingly endless stream of textures in the room remind me of the various elements of the mint julep itself. From the light, bright, airiness of the mint to the intense, dark flavor of the whiskey, with a punch of ice, and the metal tumbler conveying grandeur and importance, this space, like our drink of choice, is perfectly balanced, deeply designed, and utterly delightful. Image Source
#BestSippedWith: Joyful Jazz and Sexy Sunsets
The contrast of the concrete-looking walls with the lush textures of velvet, all surrounding that show stopping piano — it transports me to a jazz lounge at sunset. I see couples reclining, relaxing, and reminiscing…sipping mint juleps together in the dusky, musical ambiance. The setting is intimate, sexy, and with a zip of mint that keeps it all fresh.
#BestSippedWith: Deep, Dark, Saturated Spaces
I envision sipping a mint julep in this lounge while the night is young…and then changing over to something a bit stronger as the clock ticks time away, leading to fun and foggy late night conversations.
This versatile space is as subtle and serious as it is loud and lively. The deep, dark colors in this room are absolutely breathtaking, and despite that fact that it is intensely saturated, it still feels perfect for spring. The modern chandelier, light stone fireplace surround, vase of flowers, and metallic accents all add a pop of lightness that breathes life into this space — the epitome of textural perfection.
Now it’s your turn…
Now that I have shown you some vivid and vibrant spaces that convey the lightness of spring and the complexity of our beloved mint julep, you’re probably curious if I’ll ever get to the practical implementation for YOUR space, am I right? You know I am…
So in that spirit, I have put together some of my top picks for that sunny, swoonworthy, sweet-yet-sophisticated bar area in your own home…each of them as bold and beautiful as the last…
#BestSippedWith: Bar Cart Essentials
- This Dulis Rug by PROBAHome, designed in Brooklyn, handmade in India, and fabricated from New Zealand wool and bamboo silk is bright, daring, full of character, and sure to bring a smile to your face. With pops of green that mirror the mint leaves in our cocktail, this area rug is perfect for a fun-loving home bar outfitted for spring. (Image Source)
- Inspired by antique campaign cocktail cabinets, this Voyage de la Vie’ Trunk Bar from the Tertius Collection (shown here in Mustique Green with gold hardware, black leather, and ash wood) is not only moveable, but also a must-have for drink-lovers everywhere. Complete with storage for bottles, shelving, drawers, and built-ins for glassware, this vibrant trunk is sure to be the life of the cocktail party. (Image Source)
- These 21st Century Karim Rashid Suspension Lamps in Blown Murano Glass from 1st DIBS are the picture of elegance and perfect for this time of year. Forged from fire and resembling raindrops, I can’t think of a more fitting pendant light to hang above a “spring in Cali” themed home bar, can you?! (Image Source)
- This vintage “Cantharelle” Table Lamp by Maija Liisa Komulainen for RAAK, circa 1970, and available from 1st DIBS features anodized aluminum, 9 separate shades, and an antique gold finish that is certain to instill cheer. With its umbrella-esque design, the skies can bring on the rain, and your home bartender can bring on the mint juleps! (Image Source)
- I can’t imagine a more perfect tool than this Traditional White Onyx Stone Mortar and Pestle Set to muddle those mint leaves as you craft your second, third, and fourth cocktail of the day. Handcrafted from genuine onyx, this unique set comes naturally banded in shades of white, cream, green, honey, and brown. Hello, stunning spring color palette! (Image Source)
- These stainless steel Mint Julep Tumblers from IWA are handmade in the traditional mint julep shape, ideal for serving cold mixed beverages, and styled with shiny beaded steel for a one-of-a-kind look. The perfect vessel to serve your signature spring cocktail to family and friends, and a jaw dropping bar ornament when not in use, these tumblers aren’t an accessory…they are essential! (Image Source)
The mint julep, a spring icon in my book – shows us that vibrant and spirited colors, flavors, and textures can reinvigorate, refresh, and reawaken the soul, whether in craft cocktails or interior design.
If you’re ready to shake up your space with a design that infuses new life and brings energy to your every day, let’s chat.
We can, and will, create something moving and magical…together!