Derby Day

This Saturday all eyes will be on Lookin at Lucky, Sidney’s Candy and Ice Box. But no matter which horse wins, the real star of the Kentucky Derby will be the Mint Julep. As the thoroughbreds thunder down the track, drinkers across the country will be sipping the frosty cocktail, which perfectly combines bourbon, sugar and mint. Few things taste better on a hot spring day.

While the drink is now synonymous with Churchill Downs and the state of Kentucky, it wasn’t always made with bourbon. In fact the Mint Julep recipe in the 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas’ seminal The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks calls for cognac, a dash of Jamaican rum and a garnish of berries and orange slices. He also lists a Julep variation made with gin and one calling for ripe pineapple. Before you throw your Derby hat in disgust, Thomas also has directions for a whiskey version.

So instead of making just one kind of Julep on Derby Day, try a bunch of different takes on the classic. We asked Erick Castro, the very talented bartender and general manager of famed San Francisco bar Rickhouse, for his bourbon Mint Julep recipe, one calling for cognac and his own twist on the cocktail. This trifecta is a lock.

Mint Julep

Contributed by: Erick Castro

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • .25 oz Raw sugar simple syrup (one part water, one part raw sugar)
  • 8 Mint leaves
  • Garnish: Mint sprig
  • Glass: Julep

PREPARATION:

Lightly muddle the mint and simple syrup in a julep cup. Add bourbon and pack tightly with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.  Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome and garnish with a mint sprig.

Georgia Mint Julep

Contributed by: Erick Castro

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 oz VS Cognac
  • .75 oz Peach liqueur (Mathilde)
  • 8 Mint leaves
  • Dash raw sugar simple syrup (one part water, one part raw sugar)
  • Garnish: Pineapple wedge and mint sprig
  • Glass: Julep

PREPARATION:

Lightly muddle the mint and simple syrup in a julep cup. Add the remaining ingredients and pack tightly with crushed ice. Garnish the drink with a pineapple wedge and mint sprig.

Honey Stone Julep

Contributed by: Erick Castro

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • .5 oz Honey syrup (one part honey, one part water)
  • .5 oz Apricot liqueur (Rothman & Winter)
  • 8 Mint leaves
  • Garnish: Pineapple wedge and mint sprig
  • Glass: Julep

PREPARATION:

Lightly muddle the mint and honey in a julep cup. Add the remaining ingredients and pack tightly with crushed ice. Garnish the drink with a pineapple wedge and mint sprig.

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Comments

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liquor Locusts, Sarah Doyle and Editor SF, Liquor.com Team. Liquor.com Team said: No matter which horse wins, the real star of the Kentucky Derby will be the Mint Julep. Mix it up 3 ways http://bit.ly/b0Kqg8 #kentuckyderby [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Nerbonne, Ladies Love LV. Ladies Love LV said: Ladies Love MInt Juleps!! http://liquor.com/lifestyle/articles/derby-day/ [...]

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Nerbonne and Ladies Love LV, Ladies Love LV. Ladies Love LV said: Ladies Love MInt Juleps!! http://liquor.com/lifestyle/articles/derby-day/ [...]

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