We Don't Need the Kentucky Derby to "Justify" Mint Juleps
Year after year we pull out those cute little silver julep cups to watch The Kentucky Derby - And every year we ask ourselves why don't we make Juleps more often?
Yes, it is a Derby tradition that dates back to 1938, and every year they serve nearly 120,000 tasty Juleps at Churchill Downs over the two days of racing. But, a Julep is basically a Mojito made with bourbon instead of rum, so He and She are reminded to add more Juleps to our lives!
We attended a delightful Derby Party in Alys Beach this year. A rose petal path led guests to the tent entrance, setting the tone for a fun garden party. Men sported hats, and bright colors and the ladies donned flouncy floral or polka-dot dresses with big or overly stylized hats. She wore a Tommy Hilfiger dress inspired by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman's polo match scene.
The sweet scent of hundreds of roses filled the tent, and the bartenders kept the delicious Mint Juleps flowing. We've included our favorite recipe at the bottom of our post.
You can't have an afternoon of Mint Juleps without some finger foods. Yummy! Executive Chef Drew Dzejak and his talented crew prepared some southern specialties like Mini Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, Deviled Eggs topped with Crispy Chicken Skin and open-faced Kentucky Hot Brown Turkey Sandwiches. I always wondered why the sandwiches were not brown - it's because they were created by the chef of Louisville's Brown Hotel.
With such an exciting race, very few of us could stay in our seats!
And a photo booth with Kentucky Derby accessories always adds to the fun!
After such an awesome day we are inspired to give those mint julep cups a workout this year.
Traditional Mint Julep
- 2.5 oz Kentucky bourbon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
- about one dozen fresh mint leaves
- splash of club soda
1. Muddle most of the mint leaves, with the sugar and splash of club soda in a Julep Cup.
2. Add the bourbon, fill with crushed ice and another splash of club soda.
3. Slap the remaining mint leaf between your hands and add as garnish.
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