Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries are nearly as legendary as the country’s most famous horse race. And, certainly, no Derby Day celebration would be complete without a Mint Julep, a heady beverage that is made with almost as much tradition and ceremony as it is mellow Kentucky bourbon.
A classic julep is made with bruised mint leaves, powdered or super-fine sugar, bourbon, and shaved ice, then served in a specially made sterling silver cup that beads with condensation as the ice melts. In our version, we’ve added a little tea to slightly lessen the bourbon’s considerable wallop; serve either in pitchers or in over ice in julep cups. And don’t let the spirits stop flowing there—use the stout stuff in a few of our favorite Kentucky-bourbon soaked recipes. Each will make Derby Day (or any day, really) extra special.
—By Martin Booe