Off to the Races in Mint Style

Most three year olds I know don't have the ability to walk, let alone run a mile and a quarter at full speed.  That is, unless the three year old is a horse running the Kentucky Derby, which is considered the most exciting two minutes in the sporting world and an event that brings great notice to the Bluegrass State.   

Bourbon is another source of pride for Kentucky, a style of whiskey whose name derives in tribute to the royal family of France.  (And who didn't need a drink after the guillotine had its way with Louis and Marie Antoinette?)  What distinguishes Bourbon from other whiskeys is that this barrel-aged distilled spirit is made primarily from corn.  In fact, in order to be called Bourbon, the fermented mash must consist of at least 51% corn.

The whiskey category is massive, and my education has just begun.  Diageo alone offers 100 Scotch, Irish, Canadian and American whiskies!  So let's start simple and enjoy a delicious Mint Julep, the traditional libation of The Kentucky Derby, made with just three simple ingredients (after our own mantra): Bourbon, mint, and simple syrup.  Don't forget the crushed ice!

Mint Julep

½ oz simple syrup (equal parts water & sugar, dissolved)

2 oz Bulleit Bourbon

Leaves from 4-5 mint sprig for garnish

Muddle mint and syrup in julep cup (a Collins or double old fashioned will do) to release oils from mint.  Add bourbon and fill halfway with crushed ice.  Stir well, until glass is chilled (frosty, even) and top with crushed ice.  Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.


- Allison Goldberg

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