…but it’s Derby week here in Louisville and the town is a-flutter with activity. I’m not sure what if anything I’ll get done this week, but stay tuned!
Wow… I’ve been so busy at home and work that I failed to remember this great event. The mint in the garden is plentiful and the bourbon in the bar is too. I may have to feign an illness, go home early today, and have a mint julup in honor of your magnificent event!
Oh my, all of the sudden I seem to feel a bit of a headache… and maybe some sniffles… and sore muscles… not to mention a bit of light-headedness and mental confusion.
Doctor, doctor… please clarify the prescription: how many mint leaves per julup? And, does it really have to be in a silver cup or will any ordinary goblet work just as well?
Help is on the way, Brian. I suggest you treat these symptoms immediately.
There are a couple of ways you can go here. Remember that a gentleman never drinks anything with leaves in it. The first approach is to briefly muddle a sprig (4-6 leaves) of mint in a shaker with 2-3 tablespoons of simple syrup. Add a shot and a half of bourbon and a splash of water, give it a quick shake and strain the whole mixture over crushed ice. A flat-bottomed cup is traditional but not necessary. The other way to go is to make a mint syrup by combing about a cup of mint leaves with a cup of sugar and a cup of water. Heat until the sugar completely dissolves, let it cool completely before using (in place of the mint and syrup mixture in the previous version).
Now heal thyself, man, heal thyself!!
May your favorite horse run fast, and the bourbon run faster. *smiles* See you after the headache fades, and the Derby Pie is just a sweet memory!
Ha! Thanks, Jeannine!
When you get back, you can tell us all about bourbon balls, pecan pie, and hot browns.
Don’t forget the Benedictine, beaten biscuits and burgoo! (Local delicacies I’ve come to enjoy over the past decade).
Our best friends moved to Louisville years ago & went dove down to visit. The Mrs. decided we really needed to have a mint julep just because it got mentioned so often. We went to a hotel thinking it would be a tourist place & the bartender told us we would get a souvenir glass with it & he would give us clean ones when done so we wouldn’t have to deal with the used ones. It was good bourbon and all but not the way I prefer bourbon.
When we finished and he brought the glasses by he said “Well, I see you managed to choke down your julipes!”
Frankly, Frankly, I’ve never really, truly gotten into juleps. People say that they were traditionally a polite way for women to consume bourbon and I think there’s truth to that. I like bourbon neat. A little ice if it’s a hot day, but why a.) dilute the flavor or b.) take up valuable space with non-intoxicants?
Yup, Ice is OK, a twist of lemon rind occasionally. If the bourbon is good it doesn’t need more & if it isn’t its not worth drinking.
My theory is that there was an awful lot of really awful booze at the time & drowning it in sugar & mint made it tolerable. Either that or one too many horse kicks to the head.
I think that’s a good theory, Franly. I know for a fact, from the bourbon history lectures I’ve attended since arriving here, that there was indeed some pretty bad hooch made in the area once upon a time, especially as the industry was getting going. Distillers literally needed a decade to get decent quality whiskey distilled and aged. In the interim the spirits they produced had no flavor, so they’d add some to it. Something called “cherry jump” was popular once upon a time, basically grain alcohol mixed with cherry juice to make it interesting. It would not surprise me at all, Frankly, if juleps came along for similar reasons. Great comment!
I understand Derby Week is quite the scene for fancy hats. True?
I love an elegant hat, but rarely see one live. Enjoy!
ps. LOVE your blog. I so appreciate the historical context you offer with your recipes – informative and entertaining! Thank you!
Thanks so much, Kathleen!
Derby is indeed heaven for the hat lover. You see a lot of great ones down here on Derby days and Oaks day (tomorrow). Clearly you need to attend one of these years!
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