Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Whiskey Wednesday

Howdy, partner!  It's Derby Week!

Several weeks ago I shared my preference for watching horses instead of riding them. :)  I get giddy this time of year. The first Saturday of May means Kentucky Derby time!

This year I'll be traveling on Derby Day and will have to watch the race from the comfort of my hotel room.  Being Derby Week means you are free to partake, er, practice test mint juleps before the big event.

The mint julep is a simple cocktail--crushed ice, mint simple syrup, and BOURBON.

I tweaked my mint simple syrup recipe and the results are delightful!
  • 2-4 cups chopped mint (feel free to use stems and all)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups turbinado sugar e.g. Sugar in the Raw brand (turbinado is light brown in color and will impart a nice color. At least I think the brown of the mint simple syrup looks well suited for the bourbon)
  • 1 cup water
Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to melt the sugar.  Do not boil.  That's another recipe ;). When the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from cooktop.  Add chopped mint.  Allow the mint syrup to cool.  Once cooled, strain the syrup into a jar--a mason jar, or any ol' screw top jar--being sure to keep the mint OUT of the jar.  Discard the "cooked" mint. The simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.  

Now step back and have a good look at your wondrous creation! But not too long, we've got a mint julep to make!

Mint julep cocktail:

1/2 oz Mint Simple Syrup
2 oz Bourbon
Fresh Mint Leaves
Crushed Ice
Optional: Cocktail straw and mint as garnish 

Add a few mint leaves and mint simple syrup to a chilled mint julep cup, crushing the mint leaves to impart more flavor (feel free to use a lowball or old-fashioned glass).  Pack cup with crushed ice.  Pour bourbon over ice.  Insert straw and give the cocktail a stir.  Add mint sprig for garnish. Now enjoy your Kentucky creation!
mint julep

BTW, Derby is a family affair for us.  My daughter, who lives up "north", will be hosting her own Derby party again this year.  I have it on good authority that she has already baked her pecan tassies.  She'll be prepping her toasted pecans and toasted ham and turkey sliders next.  Bookmark her website, Olive & Clark, find out what else she's cooking up for The Kentucky Derby.

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