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Apr 29, 2014

Derby Day Mint Juleps For A Crowd

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, and while I enjoy watching the race what I really enjoy is a good mint julep, the official drink of the Derby since 1938. It is traditionally served out of silver cups, but tastes just as good when sipped from a regular old glass. Either option should be chilled beforehand.

Mint Juleps For A Crowd

If you are planning on having more than one mint julep, it really makes sense to make a batch of mint-infused simple syrup (also great for mojitos). This recipe makes 14 ounces of mint syrup, enough for 8 (12 ounce) drinks.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup of mint leaves, rinsed, de-stemmed, and coarsely chopped or torn
1 (750 ml) bottle Kentucky Bourbon (budget bourbon is fine- I used Jim Beam)
Crushed ice

Put the mint, sugar, and water is a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Then reduce heat to low for about 5 minutes to extract the mint flavor. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temp.

Filter the syrup through a fine mesh strainer. It will keep it in the refrigerator for weeks.

Fill a 12 ounce cocktail glass half way with crushed ice. Pour in 3 ounces of Bourbon, add 1 1/2 ounces of syrup, and stir or shake well. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

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