This week: the mint julep at State Street's lounge
The drink: A Kentucky classic that takes the spotlight on Derby day, the mint julep is a 200-year-old American cocktail featuring bourbon, simple syrup and muddled mint, with a fresh mint garnish for added aroma. The mint and subtle sweetness brighten up the whiskey, making it more refreshing for the warmer weather. Plus, like a lot of traditionalists, State Street serves its julep over crushed ice, like a grownup snow cone.
The bar: State Street's lounge, next door to its original restaurant/bar space, features decor that somehow mixes chic industrial with upscale hunting lodge, with a metal bar, plush seating areas, a glass wine cellar and a back room overseen by a mounted deer head. The clientele is equally eclectic and delightful--everything from prominent business people to tourists in the know to tatted-up hospitality pros.
Other notable potables: State Street's pro mixologists are always creating new inventions to add to its popular staples, which include a real whiskey sour made with frothed egg whites as well as the oft-ordered blackberry bramble. The new White Linen, which blends gin, chopped cucumber and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, was a hit at our recent Best of Sarasota party.