Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mint Julip

Today is the 136st running of the Kentucky Derby. I live about an hour away from Louisville and although I have never been to the Derby, I have been to Churchill Downs. Today's Derby will be a mess. It's already rained at least an inch with more coming later today. But, that did not deter those crazy infield people. It's gets a little while in the infield and with lots of puddles around today, I can foresee lots of slipping and sliding by those that partake in the trademark drink of the day. What is that drink of the Kentucky Derby? It's the Mint Julep.

If you go to the Derby, you have to drink a Mint Julep in one of the Derby's collector glasses. Each year they have a new glass and many people collect those glasses. The recipe calls for Kentucky whiskey, but any will do. At Churchill Downs, I believe they make theirs with Early Times® whiskey, but really any bourbon will work.

So, while watching the Derby today at 6:25 pm EDT, you might want to sit back and enjoy a Mint Julep like the rest of the folks around Louisville. I'll be sitting right there with you cheering for my horse, which I haven't even chosen yet.


Mint Julep

2 fluid ounces of bourbon
1 T. simple syrup (see below)
Mint springs
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup
1 C. water
1 C. sugar
Fresh Mint sprigs

To make the Simple Syrup, Combine the sugar and water and boiling for about 5 minutes without stirring. Pour the syrup over a handfull of mint leaves and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate for several hours in a closed jar until cold. Remove the mint leaves and continue to refrigerate. The syrup will be good for several weeks.

To mix the drink, crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8 oz. glass, then fill it to the top with crushed ice. Add 1 t. of the syrup, 1 T. of water, and 2 oz of bourbon. Stir gently and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Please remember to drink responsively.

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