A mint julep does not need an egg white or boar’s protein or anything else to corrupt this pure and true drink … the symbolic drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Here it is folks. The difference is the preparation of the mint syrup. It’s well worth the extra effort.
Recipe by: Craig Heuser, Louisville KY
- One large bunch of mint
- Two cups sugar
- Two cups water
- Bourbon to taste*
*The bourbon doesn’t need to be of the highest quality. In fact, you are actually preparing to ruin the bourbon by adding something other than ice to it, so save your money for something important – like ibuprofen for the next morning.
First, you need to make a simple syrup which only consists of boiling some water with sugar in it. Easy. I prefer to boil down one heaping cup of sugar for each cup of water. Once you’ve brought the liquid to a boil and all of the sugar is dissolved, turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about five minutes. That’s it. You’re finished. It’s called simple syrup for a reason.
While you are allowing the syrup to cool down a bit, wash your mint, shake it dry and pull the leaves off of the stem. I always put them into a wide and shallow Tupperware container because it is easier to dole out the syrup when it’s time for a drink. Next, pour the sugar-water over the mint leaves and leave it uncovered until the concoction is at room temperature. Then, store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
On Derby morning, fill a cup with ice. For some reason, bagged ice works best but any kind will do. Start by putting one tablespoon of your minty simple syrup without the leaves into the cup. Pour in as much bourbon as you think might do the trick and then add a splash of water to top it off (remember, your ice will melt down so don’t add too much). Stir it all up and taste.
Ahhh, tastes like a hangover.
Add more syrup, water or bourbon to your preference and then throw a sprig of mint in the glass. But if you’re like me, you completely forgot to save some mint so just go without the salad. Enjoy!