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Steamboat Natchez drink recipes: Mint Julep & Jazz Punch

One recent Sunday, we decided to spend the afternoon riding down the Mississippi River on the Steamboat Natchez. There was no special occasion, but the weather was nice and being out on the water seemed like a great idea.

One of the things we love about riding on Steamboat Natchez is their cocktails. The bartenders always know how to make whatever we request exactly right.

Two cocktails we always ask for are the Natchez Jazz Punch and the Mint Julep. Mint Juleps in particular can be hard to make; they can definitely be hit or miss around town. However, we’ve noticed that every time we order one on this steamboat, they come to us with the right amount of sweetness.

We decided to ask the Steamboat Natchez team how they do it. Surprisingly, they were readily willing to share their cocktail making secrets, and even gave us their never-miss recipes!

So enjoy, and the next time you’re in town, be sure to order one of these two cocktails on the Steamboat Natchez. You won’t be disappointed.

Natchez Mint Julep recipe

From the bar tenders on board: Mint Juleps should be a slow procedure with a southern touch of personal hospitality.  You can prepare the Mint Syrup in advance and then make individual cocktails, only needing to add the last few ingredients.

Ingredients:  For Each Cocktail

-          2 tablespoons Mint Syrup (see recipe below)

-           Fresh Mint Leaves

-          Crushed ice

-          2 tablespoons water

-          2 ounces good-quality Kentucky bourbon

-          Fresh mint sprig

Mint Syrup:    Syrup for approximately 8 cocktails

-          1 cup granulated sugar

-          1 cup water

-          1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove from the heat, pour over a handful of mint leaves and gently crush the mint with a spoon.  Refrigerate syrup mixture overnight in a closed jar.

Remove mint leaves and continue to refrigerate. This syrup mixture will keep for several weeks.

Substitution for Mint Syrup:  Purchase a bottle of mint syrup (used for flavoring espresso drinks and Italian sodas). NOTE: Purchased Mint Syrup is easier to use, but the taste isn't as great!

Individual Cocktail Preparation

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-ounce cup (using the back of a spoon to crush mint leaves) until mixture forms a paste.  (Real mint juleps deserve silver Mint Julep Cup)

Fill the cup 1/2 full with crushed or shaved ice. Add prepared Mint Syrup, water, and bourbon. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside. NOTE: A glass tumbler will not frost on the outside.

To serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Natchez Jazz Punch Recipe

Step #1: Make the Natchez Jazz Punch Mix


-          16oz. Orange Juice

-          3 (6oz) cans of Pineapple Juice

-          18oz Bar Cranberry Juice (from the gun)

-          5oz Grenadine

-          4oz Island Oasis Passion Fruit Puree

Pour all ingredients into an empty 64oz. container and shake well, refrigerate.

Be sure to date the bottle each time a fresh batch is made!  A batch will remain fresh 3-5 days.

Step #2: Make a Natchez Jazz Punch Cocktail

Fill a 16oz. glass with ice, add:

-          3/4oz. Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

-          3/4oz. Castillo Gold Rum

Fill glass up with fruit juice mix, leaving enough room for a “float”

Float -  3/4oz. Ron Pontalba 151 Rum on top

Garnish with a fresh fruit slice.

Tip: The waiters on board like to make the fruit juice portion of the recipe in a large batch, then store it in the refrigerator for parties. By doing this, you can have it ready when an individual cocktail is requested, only needing to add the liquor and the mix together. It definitely speeds things up!

BONUS: The Steamboat Natchez Creole Bread Pudding Recipe!


-          1 loaf of bread pulled apart in chunks (a bit dry is ideal)

-          6-8 eggs

-          1 qt. cream

-          1/4 cup vanilla

-          2 tsp. cinnamon

-          2 tsp. nutmeg

-          ¾ cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, serve warm or cool.

Jim Beam Bourbon Sauce


-          1 cup sugar

-          1 cup butter

-          1/2 cup Jim Beam Bourbon or rum

Combine ingredients in medium heat saucepan until smooth.

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