Tag Archives: Mint julep

Drinking the Derby

four roses and mint julep recipe

The Kentucky Derby is coming up Saturday¬†–¬†a¬†celebratory event which¬†usually marks the arrival of Spring and “spring time” bourbon drinks like the Mint Julep. I have 2 pots of mint in the backyard and they are full and ready to be julep-ized.¬†As a refresher on how to make your own Juleps, you can see my Julep¬†walkthrough here.

According to the Derby, “120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That‚Äôs a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of¬†bourbon, 1,000 pounds of mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.”

So in light of the coming Derby this weekend, I was excited¬†to¬†receive a care package from Four Roses, one of my personal favorite cinnamon-forward Kentucky bourbons, then¬†a copy of Michael Dietsch’s brand new book¬†Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic & Original Cocktails, which releases May 17, 2016 [Amazon link].

whiskey by michael dietsch

Much more than just a simple listing of recipes, Deitch devotes several pages to each cocktail and goes into the history¬†and story behind each. It’s a beautiful hardcover book with excellent photography,¬†designed cleanly and well-organized, with a good deal of cocktail pointers (whiskey or not). He says of the Mint Julep:

“With an origin in the 18th century, the boozy julep came along before American whiskey was widely available. And even when American whiskey was more available, the julep had become a drink of the genteel South, and in that time, gentlemen drank brandy and rum, not brash American whiskey.” (pp 103)

Enjoy a Mint Julep and enjoy Derby Day on Saturday! Cheers!

July 4th Cocktails (Video)

Here is the video clip from my appearance on The Morning Brew with Larry Ahrens in Albuquerque. These are the recipes from the show:

White Sangria

  • 1 bottle Vinho Verde wine
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • 2 cups orange mineral water
  • 1 cup silver tequila
  • raspberries and blueberries

Mint Julep

  • 12-10 mint leaves
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • lots of crushed ice
  • 3 oz bourbon

How to: Make a Mint Julep

how to make a mint julep

Much like the Sazerac, the Mint Julep is a simple cocktail whose preparation and mystique makes it seem really complex. Mrs. Simple Cocktails got me a full-blown julep “kit” for Valentine’s this year, so I’m making them now using all the proper tools. I’ve provided Amazon links to everything I used below:

how to make a mint julep

Step 1: take a¬†Lewis bag¬†filled with ice and smash it to tiny bits using a wooden¬†mallet. The Lewis Bag prevents the ice from being “wet” by wicking the water away as you crush it.

Step 2: Next take a nickel or silver julep cup and fill it with 15-20 mint leaves and 1/2 oz of simple syrup. Muddle them gently together for 30 seconds and add a scoop of crushed ice to the cup. Stir well.

how to make a mint julep

Step 3: Add 3 oz bourbon whiskey to the cup and stir more. Add more crushed ice, this time almost to the top. Stir more. Your shiny julep cup should start looking like mine in the photo: frosty and cold! Top once more with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and cocktail straws. Optionally, you can dust the top of the Julep with powdered sugar.

how to make a mint julep

Here’s the recipe list once more. Like I said, it’s simple and it’s¬†theatrical:

Mint Julep

  • 3 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 15-20 mint leaves and a sprig for garnish
Photography by Jasmine Nicole.