Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the mint julep

I had never heard of a mint julep until the time I came with my husband to visit Kentucky during Derby time. I think we had been married about 2 years. There were ladies dressed up in old fashioned attire greeting arriving passengers at the airport by handing out bourbon ball candies. We went down to the Pegasus Parade. My father in law took us to the Seelbach Hotel for the famous Derby Brunch. And, we watched the Kentucky Derby and at Derby Pie. It was quite a Kentucky experience and I really loved it all. We didn't drink any mint juleps, but I did learn what they were and thought it fascinating that there was so much tradition in this one event.
Last year Bobby Flay was here for the Derby and I remember him having his own version of the mint julep that he was actually selling at Churchill Downs the day of the Derby. He was a preDerby host of a few events and his julep has a black berry twist to it.
Of course, the traditional mint julep is also popular because of the famous Kentucky Bourbon that is used in it. Here is a bit of the history about the drink. We are NOT alcohol drinkers, so this is a non alcohol version that would be great for all family members. It comes from a book (one that I love and use for parties) Drinks Without Alcohol by Jane Brandt

Kentucky Derby

4 or 5 mint sprigs

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups cold water

3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh

1 1/2 quart ginger ale

Wafer - thin lemon slices for garnish
Rinse mint and remove stems. Place sugar, water and lemon juice in a bowl, mix and then stir in mint leaves. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Fill large pitcher with ice cubs, and strain liquid over the ice. Add ginger ale and lemon slices and serve.
And, here's a version at Family Fun that is pretty similar.


Lise said...

Thanks for the recipe. I've always been curious about mint juleps, which sound so southern and delicious, but I'm not a drinker, either. I look forward to trying your version.

EvaBabeDesigns said...

Thanks for the recipe! Looks delicious and I think we have most of the fresh ingredients growing in our yard already!

mamaTAVE said...

I will be trying this version, for sure. It takes a tough southern belle to drink the alcoholic version (or it could just be that my southern relatives like to make them really strong...)!!!

Karyn said...

Oh that sounds very refreshing. Although I do drink alcohol I don't like bourbon so I don't think I coudl handle the alcoholic version!

I might have to make up a jug of this and start introducing the Aussies to Mint Julep!!

LunaMoonbeam said...

My family went to Disneyland a few times when I was a kid, and EVERY time we went, we HAD to go to eat at the Pirates of the Carribean ride. There's a restaurant inside. We always had the same thing - a (virgin) mint julep and a Monte Cristo (a ham and swiss on white bread, dipped in egg and fried up like french toast, then served dusted with powdered sugar and jelly to dip).

Mmmmm. I'm not sure I could ever drink a Mint Julep without smelling the chlorine from the ride! LOL

PS - I think this is their recipe:

Veronica said...

I want to make these tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure there's no mint left in this town! I probably should've thought of that sooner.

Cheryl said...

I girl (well, lady) that came to the Derby party we went to made some mint juleps, but she used apple juice. I think this idea sounds better. The apple juice was fine, but I missed the kick the carbonation would have given it. I'll have to try it next year. Thanks for sharing.