Monday, April 28, 2008

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. There are a multitude of recipes in various Kentucky recipe books for mint juleps using bourbon from different Kentucky distilleries. It has long been debated as to whether you use shaved ice, crushed ice, distilled water, tap water, soak the mint in the bourbon or in a simple syrup for 15 minutes or overnight, whether it should be served in a chilled sterling silver julep cup and on and on. I think you get the picture. Apparently, it is a fine art to make a perfect mint julep. Personally, I believe you must acquire a taste for bourbon and the Mint Julep. I have not not acquired a taste for either! But, if you are at the Kentucky Derby, you "must" have one in your hand when the U of L band plays "my Old Kentucky Home."
Just give me a tall glass of "unsweet" iced tea and I will be happy. I prefer the use of the mint julep cup as shown in the bottom photo above. A silver (or silverplated) mint julep cup is quite often used to hold a bouquet of flowers and/or as a table centerpiece. I took this photo last August at a Danville, KY afternoon tea.
Kentucky Mint Julep Trivia:
Churchill downs buys 900 dozen branches of fresh mint and 60,000 pounds of ice, estimated to be enough for 150,000 mint juleps.
The owner of the Kentucky Derby winner receives a special-designed sterling silver julep cup.


ceekay said...

This is the second time this week someone has mentioned the Kentucky Derby to me. I am not a drinker, but believe you me, I would have one, just to get the cup! Do you have a cup??? How fun!

Angela McRae said...

I just love these Kentucky Derby posts of yours! Our magazine is printed in Kentucky, so we get to hear about all the fun they have during Derby week. They even race BEDS down the street during their Derby days!

Paula said...

Great Derby coverage, Linda! I think you've hit everything.
Good to hear from you!


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