Bourbon Whiskey Cocktail Hour By Emily Ross-Johnson / June 15, 2016 Editor’s Note: In our continued roll out of new columns and features here at The Whiskey Wash, we are proud to welcome whiskey cocktail lover Emily Ross-Johnson to our team. She will occasionally be providing us with unique whiskey cocktail recipes.Hi Guys! My name is Emily and I run the Portland-based cocktail blog fern + shaker . I’m stoked that I’ll be contributing regular Whiskey Cocktails here on The Whiskey Wash and I’m really excited to be a part of such a great team. Each of my posts here will be aimed at helping you incorporate your favorite whiskies into some delicious drinks.Whiskey is fantastic on it’s own, but what I really get jazzed about is putting whiskey into cocktails, and I’m here to show you how to up your whiskey cocktail game.For this feature, I wanted to create something fun and delicious for Father’s Day. If your dad is anything like mine, he probably enjoys sparking up the grill on the weekends and throwing some meat over the flames. When it comes to summer drinks, in my opinion, there’s not much that goes better with barbecue than a Mint Julep…except maybe a Watermelon Mint Julep!Watermelon is sweet and refreshing, and it makes a great companion to the smoky, spicy flavors of grilled meats. It’s the perfect fruity twist to the traditional summer whiskey cocktail, the Mint Julep.There are several ways you can incorporate the watermelon flavor into your Julep. The easiest is to muddle the fruit into your glass before adding the rest of the ingredients. This method is quick and easy, but if you don’t enjoy getting watermelon bits clogging up your straw, you might try making a simple syrup with the watermelon instead. You’ll get all of the flavor of the melon, without the fruit bits getting in the way of your drink enjoyment. It’s easy to do, it just takes a little bit of extra prep.If you want to get really ambitious, you can juice your watermelon with a juicer, but for this recipe, I’m going to stick with the gold old fashioned muddling method. Because, let’s face it, I’m lazy and I want that refreshing watermelon goodness in my face as soon as possible. So let’s get to it!Just a quick side note on this drink. You don’t have to have fancy julep cups for this, you just need to have a glass that holds about 12 oz. The key to getting the drink right is really all the crushed ice. With so much bourbon, you really want to dilute the booze and make it smoother by cooling it down.Watermelon Mint Julep2 1/2 oz Bourbon1/2 oz Simple Syrup1/2 cup Watermelon Chunks5 sprigs Mint1 slice Watermelon (for garnish)Instructions: Muddle watermelon and simple syrup at the bottom of your julep cup. Add 8-10 mint leaves to the cup and press lightly (read: don’t muddle the crap out of them) with your muddler just to release the oils in the mint. Fill the glass half way with crushed ice and pour in your bourbon. Stir until the glass frosts over. Now top with more crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of watermelon and a few sprigs of mint.Pro Tip: clap the mint between your hands lightly before adding it to the cup. This will release all the beautiful aromas in the mint.Enjoy mixing this one up at home and impressing dad. Happy Father’s Day to all, and check back soon for more cocktail awesomeness. Cheers!