by Kim Thomas
With the Kentucky Derby less than three weeks away, everyone who wants to enjoy the Derby experience will want to make a batch of Mint Juleps. Here's the recipe:
1) Find some mint, doesn't matter what kind of mint, just buy some that is fresh. You'll notice that mint wilts pretty quickly. That's okay. Just smash it down into the glass with crushed iced and sugar.
2) At this point, you may freeze your julep cups or glasses, ice, mint and all, or go ahead and create your julep by filling it nearly full with Kentucky Bourbon (do not make it with Jack Daniels...coz it ain't bourbon, it's sour mash from Tennessee :) - a lot of people like Makers Mark (what's NOT to like?), but even Kentucky Tavern or Ancient Age will make a decent julep.
3) Did you leave enough room for a splash of water? Then splash away, sip away, and slip away as you watch the splendor unfold at Churchill Downs on the First Saturday in May.
Another way is to make a sugar-mint-water syrup ahead of time and put it in the fridge. Saves time and the mint infuses itself into the mixture. Keep a few sprigs of mint handy for the drinks, though.
If you are having a Derby party with your family, the kids don't have to miss out on having a julep. Just make it without the Bourbon, or add a little cola or tea to give it color -- and don't forget the mint!