Friday, April 30, 2010

The Mint derby...

Who said high society isn't fashionable?

It is Kentucky Derby weekend; which means putting on your best Sunday dress and head down to the races, or in Las Vegas, the Sports Book. Perhaps you prefer to enjoy the day at home relaxing in the spring weather with a classic mint julep in your hand.

The mint julep has been a Kentucky Derby staple and this year Woodford Reserve Bourbon is going all out. Now you may not be using a pure silver Tiffany Julep cup to enjoy this classic beverage but the original should always use crushed ice.

The true debate is sprung by the floral herb, mint. Experts have put all egos on the line claiming at which point the mint should be added to this drink to keep it a "classic." Some argue just a garnish should suffice whiles other steep the leaves in their simple syrup to add flavor. I personnally think the best solution is a gentle muddling of about 6 leaves to extract just enough of the oil to flavor your beverage. Here's my version, of course you can adjust the sweetness as you wish of just drink the bourbon neat!

6 Fresh Mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
2 ounces Woodford reserve bourbon
Crushed Ice

In a high ball glass; add the mint leaves and simple syrup and gently muddle for 5 seconds. Add the Woodford reserve bourbon and stir. Top the glass with crushed ice, garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy.

To really get in the spirit, pull out a Julip strainer and use it to sip the drink without touching the ice ;)

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