Mint Julep

Mint Julep

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Today is the Kentucky Derby.  Probably the most important and famous race horse of the year, and also called the most exciting 2 minutes in sports history.  While you can argue about that, one thing you can’t is that since has taken place very year since 1875, you will be drinking bourbon.  No argument there.  And, its most likely going to be in a Mint Julep cocktail.  This classic cocktail even pre-dates the Kentucky Derby itself.

It appears as early as the 1780s as a medical remedy in the United States, approximately 2 decades later in the UK in drink recipes.  If you like your mint, you know it makes a delicious cocktail, whether it be with gin in the South Side, or rum in the Mojito, but this drink differs because while you are using mint, there is no lime juice.  Here is how to do it…

Mint Julep

  • Fresh mint leaves, depending on how minty you like it, but at least a dozen leaves, and/or 4 sprigs
  • 60ml or 2 ounces of Bourbon Whiskey, the better the bourbon, the better the cocktail, I prefer Michter’s.
  • 60ml or 2 ounces of spring water (preferably Kentucky limestone water)
  • 5ml or 1 teaspoon Powdered Sugar (superfine sugar, although any sugar works well, as long as it easily dissolves)
  • 1/2 Cup (4 ounce/12o ml) of crushed ice
  • Mint Leaf garnish

In the bottom of a metal cup (glass if you have none), muddle the sugar along with the mint leaves. Pour in the spring water to dissolve the sugar and mix the mint and fill the cup with crushed ice.  Pour the bourbon in over the ice, gently stir, add a sprig of fresh mint for garnish and a short straw that touches the bottom so you can drink from the bottom up.

This is a refreshing drink, and one meant to drink over time.  The massive amount of ice in this cocktail ensures its cold on a warm spring day.  And, if you are fortunate enough to attend the Kentucky Derby, you will get your drink at least 20 minutes before the race, and sip by sip, it will be refreshing until the race is over a half hour later.

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