Yummy Cocktails For Your Derby Day

Not into horse racing? Who cares, the Kentucky Derby is all about the cocktail: The mint julep. You’ll need mint, bourbon, and crushed ice, but you really need to know how to make a good one. A mistake most people make is smashing the mint too hard, you really just need to “lightly massage” it to press the out the oils with all the flavor.

Here’s the classic mint julep recipe and some new variations for your Derby Day party:

The Classic

  • Start with a julep cup or rocks glass
  • Add 10 mint leaves and ½ ounce simple syrup
  • GENTLY press the mint with the end of a wooden spoon - you don’t want to smash it, just release the flavor
  • Add two ounces of bourbon and crushed ice, formed into a mound
  • Slap three mint sprigs against your hand to release the oils and use as a garnish and a straw and you’re good to go.

Rum Julep - A twist on the classic.

  • Start with a julep cup or rocks glass
  • Add 10 mint leaves and ½ ounce of demerara syrup (Sugar In The Raw dissolved in hot water 1:1
  • GENTLY press the mint with the end of a wooden spoon
  • Add two ounces of dark rum and a dash of bitters
  • Pile crushed ice in and form it into a mound
  • Dust three mint sprigs in powdered sugar and add as a garnish.
  • Serve with a short straw and enjoy

Champagne-Gin Julep - Not everyone can down bourbon or rum in the afternoon, so this is a slightly lighter alternative.

  • Start with a large glass
  • Add 20 mint leaves and ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Add one ounce of gin and a dash of orange bitters
  • GENTLY press the mint with the end of a wooden spoon
  • Add ice to the glass, but leave room for the bubbly
  • Pour five ounces of Champagne on top
  • Slap three mint sprigs on your hand and add as a garnish, stick in a straw and sip away.



More: Food and Wine

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