Beyond the Mint Julep: Ten Great Pours for Kentucky Derby Day
Bourbon sales spike in late April as people get ready for their parties, just like Champagne sales climb in the two weeks before New Years Eve.
To make a perfect pitcher of Mint Julep, start with 4 cups of Bourbon, 2 bunches of spearmint, one cup of distilled water, one cup of granulated sugar, and some powdered sugar.
Remove about 40 leaves from the spearmint bunch, and cover with 3 oz. of Bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Wring the mint out over the bowl you have put the whiskey in. Dip the mint bundle into the bowl several times more.
To prepare the simple syrup, mix a cup of granulated sugar and once cup of distilled water in a small sauce pan. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly so it doesn't burn. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the Mint Julep, pour 3 1/2 cups of Bourbon into a large pitcher. Add one cup of the syrup to the Bourbon.
Now begin adding the mint extract you made one tablespoon at a time to the pitcher. Once that is done, pour the whole mixture into a bottle with a stopper, and chill for 24 hours to marry the flavors.
To serve, fill each glass (or silver Julep cup, over shaved ice and a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice. Add a sprig of fresh mint. Choose your horse wisely.
Here are eleven great pours for Derby Day to have straight or use as the basis of your Juleps.