This has been a week of celebrations, from Cinco de Mayo and ending this weekend on what is known as two-minute sporting spectacle, the Kentucky Derby. Both celebrations feature great food as well as a signature cocktail. Margarita’s tequila and triple sec and mint julep’s bourbon base combine with simple syrup to make easy-to-down cocktails. Most people are familiar with making (and drinking!) margaritas, but the bourbon-based mint julep is just as easy.
The mint julep is associated with the American South, where a whiskey/bourbon and mint combination that is savored during the long hot months makes this cocktail a perennial favorite. At the Kentucky Derby, the drink is served in a special silver Julep cup. Using a metal container in the heat is practical as the frosted cup insulates the cocktail. A mint julep is easy to make: Use the best bourbon that you have available, fresh mint leaves for both aroma and aromatics, and simple syrup.
Bourbon Whiskey – 2 oz
Simple Syrup (see below) – ½ –1 oz
Mint Sprigs – 5-6
Crushed ice – enough to fill the serving Julep glass
- Mix 4 tsp of sugar and 4 tsp of water. Bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat. Add 3-4 mint leaves. Keep aside until the simple syrup is cool.
- When ready to serve, add the remaining mint leaves to the serving cup. Crush the leaves lightly (muddle) with a wooden spoon.
- Fill the cup with crushed ice. Pour in the whiskey and simple syrup.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Cheers to the winner!
Note: If you don’t own a metal cup or silver julep, chill a standard highball glass.