America’s “Big Race” the Kentucky Derby, was held on Saturday, May 2nd at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The Derby’s official bourbon supplier for the Early Times “Mint Julip” is Woodford Reserve. Incidentally, a 50-1 longshot gelding named “Mine That Bird” won the 135th Kentucky Derby, ridden by jockey, Calvin Borel.
The Mint Julep
The main ingredient in a Mint Julep is Kentucky bourbon with a mix of sugar, mint and lots of crushed ice. It became the Kentucky Derby’s official drink in 1938 and has been served ever since at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.
The Ideal Vessel: Use a metal julep cup to prevent the ice from melting too fast. Some aficionados use a special thin straw also fashioned from metal.
Recipe to make a Mint Julep:
Drop 6-8 fresh mint leaves into a silver or metal Julep Cup and muddle with a pestle. Add one to two ounces of simple syrup or to taste (made by boiling equal parts of hot water and sugar and stirring, allow to sit and cool down). Add crushed ice to the top. Use a generous amount of Kentucky Bourbon or a Tennessee Sour Mash such as: Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniels, Gentleman Jack, or finest single barrel varieties, such as: Blanton’s or Knob Creek. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and serve with a silver straw.