As a native of Derby City (Louisville, KY), Cocktail & Curiosities co-author Ted Scofield has been making mint juleps since he could reach the bar. And, since tomorrow is the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, it only makes sense that Friday's Featured Cocktail is the classic mint julep, from Ted's grandmother's recipe.
What you need:
How you make it:
The day before you'll need it, prepare the simple syrup. When the syrup has cooled, add mint sprigs to the syrup. (The more syrup you prepare, the more mint you'll need.)
Steep the mint in the syrup for several hours, but not too long! If the mint remains in the syrup for too long, it'll break down and the syrup will be cloudy. Refrigerate the syrup while the mint is infusing. The right amount of time is more art than science, but in our experience it's about 5-6 hours.
When you remove the mint, the syrup will radiate its heavenly aroma. (If you make a pitcher of syrup, as we do, go ahead and get your nose in there for a good whiff.)
Fill your julep cup with crushed ice, then add a tablespoon (or two) of the mint-infused simple syrup. Add bourbon until the cup is full. Garnish with a sprig of mint. After cutting a few inches off of a straw, push it into the ice. (We shorten the straw to get the nose closer to the mint sprig.)
Place your bets and enjoy "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports!"