Happy Derby!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Though I am from Canada, I have always been fascinated by the Kentucky Derby. The horses, beautiful dresses and hats are all lovely to see. I hope to attend a Derby one day...but until then I will be watching from afar with a Mint Julep in hand. 

I love the Mint Julep. It's such a classy drink - presented in a beautiful cup. I can definitely see why it is the signature drink of the Derby. I found a few different takes on the Mint Julep that I would love to try! 

Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep small ice cubes 1/2 c blackberries 4 tbsp mint leaves, torn in half 2 tbsp simple syrup 3 oz bourbon sparkli...

Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep
small ice cubes
1/2 c blackberries
4 tbsp mint leaves, torn in half
2 tbsp simple syrup
3 oz bourbon
sparkling wine
mint and blackberries for garnish

Fill a small rocks glass overflowing with ice. In a shaker, muddle the blackberries, mint, and simple syrup. Add 1 c ice and bourbon and shake well. Strain into glasses, filling about 3/4 full. Top off with sparkling wine and gently stir to combine. Gently press mint leaves to let out the aroma and add to drink with blackberry for garnish.
The Maple Julep:
2oz Bourbon or Rye
3/4oz maple syrup
1/4oz all-spice liqueur
5-8 mint leaves (slapped or gently bruised, never muddled)
Crushed Ice
1 Mint Sprig and a cinnamon stick

Combine bourbon or rye, maple syrup, all-spice liqueur, mint and some ice in julep cup. Stir to combine. Top with ice. Garnish with mint sprig and grate cinnamon stick over top.
Mint Julep
Cherry Mint Julep via Food Network
5 fresh mint leaves, plus a few mint sprigs, for garnish
1 teaspoon sugar
Shaved ice
2 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
Lemon slice, for garnish
Orange slice, for garnish, optional
Maraschino cherry, for garnish, optional

Place mint leaves, sugar and a splash of water into a silver julep cup or a 12-ounce Tom Collins glass. Muddle the mint, sugar, and water together with the tip of the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill the glass with shaved ice, add the bourbon, and stir until combined. Garnish with a lemon or orange slice, a cherry, and a few sprigs of fresh mint.

And for my non-drinkers:

Classic Mint Julep Recipe | Camille Styles

Alcohol Free Mint Julep

1 large bunch fresh mint leaves about 10 stems
1 bottle ginger ale (1 quart or 1 liter, they are approximately the same)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 crushed ice

Rinse mint leaves and remove any thick stems. Set aside. Put ginger ale in refrigerator to chill.
Mix lemon juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill.
Pour chilled lemon juice mixture over mint leaves and refrigerate for 30 -60 minutes.
In a large pitcher mix lemon juice-mint mixture, ginger ale, and ice. Stir vigorously until pitcher is frosted and serve.

Happy Derby! 

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