A favorite springtime cocktail enjoyed in the South is the Mint Julep, a drink popularized by the Kentucky Derby. During derby weekend, Churchill Downs Racetrack serves 120,000 Mint Juleps. And that doesn’t include those served on back porches throughout the region. They are easy to make so why not try one this year while you’re watching the race on
Kentucky Derby’s Official Mint Julep
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver julep cups
Make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar and water together for 5 minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six to eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup or glass with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Churchill Downs uses Early Times for its official juleps, but you can substitute your favorite whiskey. Mark Rhodes, who is a whisky expert, shares his top five bourbon choices for making a great Mint Julep: Russell’s Reserve 10, Four Roses Single Barrel, Angel’s Envy, Woodford Reserve and Col. Taylor Small Batch.