Edible Insect Recipes: Mint-Fed Julep

May 12, 2019

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The mint julep originates from the US American south, and was once considered a medicament to cure stomach ailments. Now it is more commonly associated with cooling down on warm sunny southern days, and the Kentucky Derby horse races. A traditional mint julep comprises of bourbon, simple syrup, crushed ice, and spearmint leaves, crushed to help release the essential oils into the mixture and intensify the flavor. This mint-fed julep raises the bar on the old tradition, by garnishing with herb-fed waxworms. Go ahead and shock your guests by how well the herb-fed insects take on a crisp, herbal, thereby making for an unforgettable mint julep experience.

Mint-Fed Julep

Total: 10 mins; Serves 1


  • 2-4 fresh spearmint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot water
  • 1-2 shots (1.5 - 3 oz) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon seltzer water (optional)


  • 2-4 fresh spearmint leaves
  • 1 herb-fed waxworm (recommended herb: lemon peel); lightly boiled and roasted



1. Heat water; a microwave will be fine if you are just making a small amount. Add sugar in the water and stir constantly, until fully dissolved. Allow to cool completely.

2. Muddle 4 of the mint leaves and the sugar syrup at the bottom of a sturdy glass. If you do not have a cocktail muddler, anything soft and broad, like a wooden or rubber spoon, should do. Avoid using anything too hard that will shred the mint leaves. To muddle, put the leaves at the bottom of the glass, top with sugar syrup, and use your muddle tool to press down and twist lightly, taking care not to crush the leaves. You want them bruised so they will release their delicious essential oils, but not so torn up that they become bitter. Press and twist the muddler against the leaves and syrup approximately 2 or 3 times.

3. Fill the glass with crushed ice, and then add bourbon, stirring until drink is well-mixed and very cold. You may add a splash of seltzer water, if desired. Garnish with the remaining mint leaves, and a mint herb-fed waxworm; lightly boiled and roasted. Serve immediately.

This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare edible insects and safely eat a bug. Text may include affiliate links

Meet Mic

I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!

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