I should have posted this yesterday, but I was much too involved in the Kentucky Derby to get around to being productive. Or I should say, my productivity involved making Mint Juleps (as well as a giant spread of food). The only time of the year I make these is for the Kentucky Derby and I admit I do get a little carried away in the experience. The mostly empty bottle of bourbon sitting on my kitchen counter this morning is proof of that.
A few secrets to a good Mint Julep: 1. always make the simple syrup beforehand, 2. infuse the simple syrup with mint, 3. use good bourbon, 4. used crushed ice. If you follows these cardinal rules, you are golden! My own personal addition, a bit of Pellegrino to give the drink a bit of bubble. Makes it even more refreshing, if that's is even possible.
While none of my horses won the race for the roses (although one did get third place!!), it was a grand event as always. I can't wait for next year's 140th running! Don't forget - two more races remain in the Triple Crown!
Delicious Mint Julep
Adapted from: Camille Styles
- 2.5 ounces bourbon
- 25–30 mint leaves
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1-2 ounces of Pellegrino
- ice cubes
- crushed ice
For the mint simple syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large bunch mint leaves (I used three varieties)
First, make the simple syrup. Combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Place the bunch of mint leaves in an old mason jar (or other heatproof container) and pour the syrup over the leaves. Place the jar in the fridge and let the leaves steep in the syrup for at least one hour (overnight is better). Strain the leaves from the liquid and set the syrup aside.
Place your 25–30 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and pour in the 2.5 ounces of bourbon as well as one ounce of your simple syrup and some Pellegrino. Top with a few ice cubes and stir. Fill your chilled silver cup or glass with ice about halfway. Strain the liquid from the cocktail shaker into the cup. Pack crushed iced on top of the liquid to the top of the glass. Garnish the drink with a sprig of mint leaves and a straw.