I’ve long enjoyed watching the triple crown races every year, a tradition started with my Pap years ago. We would get a list of all the contenders, then assign each family member a horse and wait excitedly to see who won! Soon our interest turned into full on Derby day parties, with foods like Bourbon pecan pie and traditional Kentucky hot browns. And no raceday soirée would be complete without… the mint julep. A classy Bourbon cocktail served by the tens of thousands at Churchill Downs on the big day, you can make your own at home now too!
Serves: 1 julep
- Leaves from 4-5 mint sprigs
- 2 sugar cubes or 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 2 1/2 ounces good bourbon whiskey (I go with Woodford Reserve)
- Mint sprig for garnish
- Crushed ice (CRUSHED is key!)
- Place the mint and simple syrup or sugar into a julep cup, collins glass, or double old-fashioned glass.
- Muddle well to dissolve the sugar and to release the oil and aroma of the mint but gently enough that the leaves don’t break into tiny bits.
- Add the bourbon.
- Fill with crushed ice and stir well until the glass becomes frosty.
- Garnish with the mint sprig.