Who’s ready for 120,000 Mint Juleps, a rowdy party in the infield, and Millionaire’s Row filled with a genteel crowd outfitted in seersucker, pastel and floppy hats? That’s right. The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, billed as the most exciting 2 minutes in sports, is right around the corner.
120,000 mint juleps will be served. That's 2,600 gallons of mint julep. On the surface it sounds like an astounding amount of alcohol. But with a reported 2013 attendance of 165,000 people a big portion of that crowd isn’t pulling its weight. C’mon folks! You are at the Derby – live a little.
Since a big portion of the attending crowd is shirking its responsibility the rest of us at home will have to carry their weight. Fortunately for us it does not get any easier than the mint julep. Whiskey. Sugar. Mint. Ice. There is no excuse for drinking anything else.
-1 Tablespoon Simple Syrup (google it – it’s “simple”)
-2 Ounces Early Times Whiskey (We're suckers for marketing and Early Times has an exclusive contract with Churchill Downs to be the official whiskey of the Kentucky Derby but feel free to use your preferred brand.)
-5 to 6 Mint Leaves (plus a sprig for garnish)
Place mint leaves, simple syrup, and finely crushed ice in a 12 ounce glass or silver beaker. Muddle it. Fill the rest of the glass with finely crushed ice. Pour the bourbon over the ice and garnish with mint.
Mint Julep recipes vary but they all call for one standard – crushed ice. And you can't skimp on the crushed ice. To make crushed ice in your kitchen place the ice cubes in a dish towel, grab a blunt object, and take out your aggression on it. Boom! Crushed ice. And it just wouldn't be a mint julep without crushed ice...
When you wake up next Saturday, put on your seersucker, don your pastel and oversized hats and mix up a batch of Mint Juleps. You will be partaking in a great American tradition. And that is worth something.
If you just thought to yourself "I don’t have any seersucker!" it’s time to do something about it. Check out our Derby Collection of Seersucker Sunglass Straps so you can look the part for the most exciting 2 minutes in sports: