The Kentucky Derby only lasts 2 minutes, but for me it’s all about the big hats and the Mint Julep anyway. Even if you aren’t traveling to Louisville for the big race, it’s fun to get decked out at home, pick out the winning horse, and sip on a little southern bourbon. There are many ways to make a Mint Julep, but the traditional recipe only calls for four ingredients. Five if you count the crushed ice.
- Fresh mint leaves
- Sugar (1 cup)
- Water (1 cup)
- Crushed Ice
*Make the simple syrup the night before to save yourself a little stress and to let the mint work its magic.
Let’s get to it!
Boil 1 cup of water. When it starts to bubble pour in 1 cup of sugar. Heat on high for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Let the syrup cool in a container with a few sprigs of mint. Store the syrup in the fridge if you are reading this ahead of time. If this is more of a “fly by the seat of your pants day” just let the mint soak in the syrup until it has cooled.
Now for the fun part!
Put 5 or 6 mint leaves in the bottom of your cup and muddle. The traditional recipe doesn’t call for muddled mint, but it’s okay to break tradition every now and again. Right?! A few passes with your muddler should do the trick. Don’t over do it or you’ll have bits of leaves floating around.
Add a tablespoon of the syrup and a shot of bourbon into the bottom of the glass and half-fill with crushed ice.
Stir your heart out! Make sure the syrup gets really mixed in so it doesn’t sit in the bottom of the glass.
Add a little more syrup and, depending how schnockered you’d like to get, more bourbon. Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice.
If you want to make it fancy, you can add in a sprig of mint and a cute straw.
And there you have it! The official drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
Need packing tips for a trip to the Kentucky Derby? Check out my post here!