April 25, 2010

The Early Times Mint Julep

According to the official Kentucky Derby website 120,000 mint juleps will be served at Churchill Downs this weekend.

That's a lot of mint juleps. And a lot of mint.In fact, they expect to use 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint just to garnish those fancy silver mint julep cups!

Thank goodness the rest of us only need a handful sprigs to get us through the weekend.

You can purchase an Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail and garnish your glass with a sprig of fresh mint... or you can make your own traditional mint julep syrup from scratch, right from your garden. Mint shows up early in many gardens and a traditional mint julep is easy to prepare...


2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups*

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidily with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Far be it for me to introduce any changes into this official Early Times Mint Julep Recipe, but I can't help but add my own little hint... I like to rub a fresh mint leaf on the rims of the glasses just before serving.

*If you are making your own mint juleps, homegrown style, you might want to pour them into half pint mason jars...

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