Best recipes for a Mint Julep on Kentucky Derby Day!
Bets Mint Julep Recipe for The Kentucky Derby’s Run For The Roses!
Off to the grocery store I go in search of the best ingrediants for what is known as “The best Mint Julip in The World.” It is a “must serve” at your Kentucky Derby Party tomorrow.
The second most asked question this time of year right after, “which horse will win the Kentucky Derby”, is usually “what is the best Mint Julep recipe ever?” In honor of the bacon-and-egg relationship of fine spirits and betting on a Kentucky Derby winner, we have dusted off an old family recipe which we swear was concocted by our Great-Grandpappy and perfect if you are holding a party.
A note about the ingredients- suggest anything pre-mixed or made with powdered sugar and you should turn around and leave right now with your head bowed in shame. The Mint Julep is a deceptively simple drink in terms of combination, but needs a slow hand and a reverence for all things Kentucky. You will need:
Mint Julep Ingredients- Serves 8
2 cups of the sweetest Kentucky morning dew collected from a field of uncut bluegrass (or tap water if you must)
2 cups of the purest sugar hand refined by debutantes at a charity ball (or the store bought white stuff if you don’t want to take the whole thing seriously)
½ cup roughly chopped Spearmint leaves grown by blind mountain men (regular mint is fine but please try and buy it from someone wearing overalls)
32 fluid ounces of premium Kentucky Bourbon preferably along the lines of the 107 proof “Pappy Van Winkle”
Mint leaf garnish? Really? Stop it, you are just embarrassing yourself.
Making a True Mint Julep
Now that you have some combination of the above ingredients you are ready to practice the magic of mixology, or in the case of the Mint Julep something we like to call “Southern Alchemy”. Wait until your guests arrive before preparing, and remember it’s all about the feel!
1. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and bring slowly to a full boil until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand and cool. You have now made “simple syrup”, which is not an insult to that side of your family that no one talks about, but rather reflects the ease of the preparation. Simple syrup has many uses, such as for sweetenin’ old fashioned ice tea and declaring that “it is insufferably hot today.”
2. Mash the spearmint with the simple syrup. There is some controversy here but it is muddled so just ignore it completely. The Julep (which comes in many flavours) is originally a medicinal drink which was then made into a tincture with the appropriate herb depending on one’s condition. The alcohol no doubt made the whole thing much more pleasant but note that this drink has real medicinal value- in particular to sooth nerves, aid digestion, vanquish gas, and scarily enough combat hirsutism or “hairiness”. A vigorous, old timey two step shuffle to aid the mashing process while singing along at the top of your voice with the Soggy Bottom Boy’s “Man of Constant Sorrow” would be appropriate here (original song by one-eyed Kentuckian Dick Burnett!).
3. Add crushed ice (“crick” ice preferable when in season). Anything by Tennessee Williams crushed ice. Your crushed ice should reek of despair, binge drinking, and subtle innuendos about unmet marital needs. Do not be afraid to yell out “Stella” at random intervals to get you there.
4. Bourbon. Lots of it, and remember if you can’t set it on fire then it’s not worth discussing. Again barring your own still set-up, make sure to go for anything that people warn you might make you go blind. In terms of volume the recommended mix is four ounces of the mash to ¼ cup simple syrup, but these are essentially big government guidelines and to be met with suspicion and contempt. This would be a good time to put on “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle at high volume to get your fire up. Think Revenuers, Junior Johnson, and ’49 Fords with blown out 500 cubic inch engines barrelling through “the hollers” in the dark of night- who the hell has the right to tell you what you can grow, err distil anyway??
5. Combine all the above and serve in antique Civil War era pewter mugs. If you happen to be all out of one hundred and fifty year old drinking vessels, then you may use those giant plastic mugs you got at Senor Frogs in Cabo- just make sure they are really chilled!
6. Et voila! The most authentic and best Mint Julep recipe ever. Drink a minimum of four prior to race time, all the while making outrageous claims to your guests about your athletic accomplishments in high school- ahh the glory days! (this step optional)
At this point your Kentucky Derby party will have been a hit, and absolutely unlike anything anyone has ever witnessed before. Assuming friends, family and spouses are still talking to you afterwards, you will no doubt be asked to host your equine soiree again next year. If however everyone has left never to return, we recommend putting on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass classic, “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, while mixing another Mint Julep- it can only make you feel better!
I will share it here..along with some photos of delicious tasting mint julips!
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