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Mint Juleps Reimagined at Ella's American Bistro


Kentucky bourbon, smashed mint and sugar on the rocks, the mint julep is a sweet Southern heat-beater reserved mostly for steeplechase tailgaters around these parts. But local bartender Carla Grabey is looking to change that. For purists, she uses mild, 11-year-old Black Maple Hill bourbon with organic mint and agave syrup. “You get the mint right away, but then you finish with this smooth, almost silky, honey flavor,” says Grabey, who tends bar at Ella’s American Bistro in Wayne. This month, stop into Ella’s for her cool Basil Julep: Thai basil-infused simple syrup, eight-year-old Basil Hayden bourbon and a splash of club soda, served in pewter cup.

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