Saturday, May 1, 2010

Derby Day: Mint Juleps

It's Kentucky Derby time. I'm only a few hours from work time so I'm getting my muddlin arm ready.

One interesting fact: a "julep" was a term for an elixir (usually sweet) that was administered by doctors to smooth out the harshness of some medicines...

I'm here to teach AND get you drunk.  Anyway, just in time for the race, here's my recipe for a Mint Julep.

Mint Julep

- 2 oz of Bourbon whiskey (I used Maker's Mark)
- 1 oz of simple syrup (1:1 sugar water)
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh mint
- really cold crushed ice

Glassware: a metal chalice if you have it. Otherwise, a simple highball will do.

First, take your sprigs of fresh mint and place them in the bottom of your glass.  Pour 1 oz of simple syrup into the glass.  Lightly muddle the mint.  Remember: there is no real need to pulverize something when muddling.  You simply want to open up the veins of the leaf. 

Next, add crushed ice.  This ice should be as cold as possible.  Pile the ice up in the glass as well.  Imagine that you're packing the glass for a snow cone.  Add 2 oz of whiskey.  Maker's is by far the best.

Lightly stir the mixture making sure to smoothly combine the ingredients, no need to get all crazy.  You can also add another sprig of mint as garnish. 

If you've done it right, you should have a fresh, frosty cup of sweet whiskey cocktail.  I got so excited with mine that I drank it half way through before I realized I needed to take a picture for the blog.

Enjoy Derby Day.  If you're in the Foggy Bottom area today, stop by Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy and ask me to make you one.  Come up and get some medicine.


  1. How long does simple syrup last? Are you supposed to refrigerate it? I want to make a lime-infused simple syrup (for Harness' special Cinco de Mayo recipes hehehe) but if I end up with more than I need, I want to know how to store it.

  2. I would store it for no more than a couple of weeks. I'm sure there's a difference between the types of sugar that is used. You can add a little vodka to it as a preservative if you want to give it some longevity.