Mint Julep

Drinks of the Triple Crown
It's Derby Day at Churchill Downs and time to imbibe a few of these classic southern libations. Mint Juleps are distinctly American, originating in the Commonwealth of Virgina in the 1700s. Kentucky is where they make the best Mint Juleps, however, featuring the state's indigenous Bourbon whiskey and mint.

Recommended Equipment:
pewter or silver glass or mug

3 to 4 oz. bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
fresh mint leaves
1 oz. of simple syrup
crushed ice

  1. Pour 1/2 oz. of syrup into glass.
  2. Pour mint leaves into glass and mix with syrup using a wooden spoon.
  3. Rub the entire inside of the glass with the syrup-covered leaves.
  4. Pack the glass over the top with crushed ice.
  5. Pour the remaining 1/2 oz. of syrup over the ice.
  6. Pour in the bourbon.
  7. Garnish with sprig of mint.
  8. Place your bets!!
Related posts:
The Preakness - Black Eyed Susan
The Belmont Stakes - Belmont Breeze

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Kentucky Derby Beer Cheese Recipe

This Saturday is Derby Day, the first stop on the road to the Triple Crown. It is a perfect excuse to get friends together for a little mid-day party just before Mother's Day. To do it right you will need to include the traditional food and drinks popular in the Bluegrass State.

Your bar should have each of the signature drinks from the Triple Crown on hand. These include the Mint Julep, the Black-eyed Susan, and the Belmont Breeze. Pair these with classic Kentucky dishes like the Hot Brown and Beer Cheese and your party will become an early May tradition.

3/4 bottle of your favorite beer
1/4 large yellow onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tspn ground black pepper
1/2 tspn Tabasco sauce
1/2 tspn Worcestershire sauce
pinch of Kosher salt
1 tspn dry mustard
16 oz. grated cheddar cheese

Recommended Equipment:
food processor

  1. Open a bottle of your favorite beer and let sit for at least 3 hours.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except the beer to a food processor and pulse until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Turn the food processor on continuously and pour the beer into the food processor.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a sealable container. Place a piece of wax paper directly on the cheese and then put lid on container.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 days.
  6. Serve with your favorite vegetables, crackers, and pretzels.
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