In honor of the 135th running of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, I decided to take a detour from fashion and instead give you two great recipes for the quintessential drink of the derby, the Mint Julep!
The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Each year, almost 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. A feat that requires over 10,000 bottles of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.
The traditional mint julep recipe courtesy of www.kentuckyderbyparty.com.
The Early Times Mint Julep Recipe
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
If you want to mix it up a bit try these amazing Blackberry Bourbon Mint Juleps courtesy of Bobby Flay.
1 pint fresh blackberries, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large bunch mint
1 cup bourbon
1. In a small bowl, mash together the blackberries, sugar and vanilla and let sit at room temperature until juicy, about 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing against the solids with a rubber spatula; discard the seeds.
2. For each drink, place about 3 tablespoons of the blackberry syrup and 8 mint leaves into a cocktail glass and muddle together using the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill with crushed ice, 1/4 cup bourbon and a splash of seltzer. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Don’t forget to watch for all the gorgeous hats and summer dresses! What could be more perfect than a day of horses, drinking, gambling and great hats!