Sunday, 27 April 2008

Kentucky Derby Fare: Mint Juleps



(Photo by joshleo)

No Kentucky Derby party would be complete without Kentucky Bourbon -- and lots of it. Bourbon actually got its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky where it was originally invented back in the 18th century. There are now almost 70 brands of original Kentucky Bourbon most notably Maker's Mark, Wild Turkey and Early Times. 

When not drinking their bourbon "neat", you will see most southerners sipping Mint Juleps, particularly at Derby time. Made of only four ingredients -- mint, bourbon, sugar and water - Mint Juleps are traditionally served in silver or pewter cups and only held lightly at the top and the bottom to allow frost to develop on the outside of the cups.

Traditional Mint Julep

2 oz Premium Kentucky Bourbon
1 tbs simple syrup (see recipe below)
Crushed or shaved ice
Fresh mint leaves

Fill a julep cup or glass with packed crushed or shaved ice. Add 1 tbs of the simple syrup with mint. Stir rapidly with a spoon. Garnish with more fresh mint leaves.

Simple Syrup with Mint

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Fresh mint leaves

Boil the sugar and water together for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Add 6 to 8 bruised mint sprigs. Place in covered container and refrigerate overnight. Yield: enough syrup for approx. 22 juleps.

Tips:
  • To bruise the mint, place the leaves in a cup and pass a spoon between the leaves and the sides of the cup a few times. This will allow the oils to release.
  • This should be served with a straw cut just taller than the glass so that the person consuming the julep can get the aroma of fresh mint every time they take a sip.
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6 comments:

Private Chef said...

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Jackie said...

My family, when I was young, traveled to Alabama a LOT and would always stay over night in Kentucky, and thus I learned about Kentucky bourbon! There were these lucious Kentucky Bourbon chocolates I would always buy...wonderful memories! That Mint Julep looks like a nice complement to one of those chocolates!! :)

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betty said...

Wonderful,yummy site-thanks for the pictures and info! Betty