The Kentucky Derby & Mint Juleps

May 3, 2008

I’ll admit, I know nothing about horse racing and have no plans to educate myself. I also don’t gamble or wear seersucker pants. But I still love watching the Kentucky Derby. To me, the Derby ushers in the official onset of spring and for my money it doesn’t get much better than girls in sundresses. I also find guilty pleasure in watching rich-ass people lose millions on animals running around in circles.

This year, to celebrate the race, my friends and I decided to throw a party and drink nothing but the Derby’s signature cocktail: the mint julep. I’ve never had a mint julep, but always thought it sounded quite refreshing and somehow prestigious. Of course, we also had no clue how to concoct said beverage and were forced to seek out the recipe. For those of you with similar ambitions, the ingredients can be found below. I don’t know about ya’ll, but our syrup is chillin’ in the fridge. On your marks…

You will need:

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water (branch water is ideal)
Fresh Mint
Crushed Ice
Kentucky Bourbon (2 ounces per serving)

Make a simple mint syrup* by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes; cool. Place in a covered container with 6 or 8 bruised mint sprigs. Refrigerate overnight.
Make a julep by filling a julep cup* or glass with crushed ice, then adding 1 tablespoon of mint syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost outside of cup or glass. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig..

*This makes enough syrup for about 44 juleps.

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