There is perhaps no other beverage that is so associated with a sporting and cultural event as is the pairing of the Mint Julep and The Kentucky Derby. Since 1938 Churchill Downs and The Derby have promoted the Mint Julep as the official drink. It is estimated that in the two days of the Kentucky Oaks, that features the Kentucky Derby, nearly 120,000 of these minty cocktails are served!
The origins of the Mint Julep are hotly debated but it is reasonable to say that the cocktail's present home is Kentucky. There is also some debate regarding the ingredients utilized in the first Julep but again these investigations, while a fun exercise, are all but moot when we realize that Bourbon and Juleps are linked at the hip.
2.5 oz. Quality Bourbon
.5 oz. of ginger-mint simple syrup (see the recipe in the method section)
This classic cocktail is great anytime to temperature rises but you simply can't have a Kentucky Derby celebration without the Mint Julep.
In a chilled 12 oz. tall glass (or julep cup) add five mint leaves and a teaspoon of the ginger-mint simple syrup. Pack the glass with crushed ice as free of water as possible. Top with the Bourbon and stir well with a bar spoon to blend all of the ingredients, while melting a bit of the crushed ideally ideally frosting the glass. Garnish with a trio of mint leaves
Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup – For the minted simple syrup add one cup each of water and sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has been completely dissolved and then add two inches of ginger root, peeled and sliced. Remove from the heat and stir in 15 mint leaves. Allow the mint to steep until the mixture is cool. Strain away the mint leaves and ginger bits.
Our version is a slight twist on the classic but you can find many tasty variations. The easiest tweak is to substitute the Bourbon with Rye. You can also do what we have done and make your own flavored simple syrup.
Source: BevX – Twist on a Classic