One of my bucket list items is to attend the annual Kentucky Derby, gaudy hat and all. But, it’s not happening this year, so a homemade mint julep and a Samsung TV will have to suffice.
Rourke and I have been doing this annually. It’s a fun way to watch the derby. What makes our version of this drink stand out is….SONIC ICE! You can buy this ice through your local Sonic drive thru for about $2.50. It makes any drink on a warm day a step above.
We also use fresh mint from our garden. If you have ever grown mint, you know it can be quite aggressive. So, there is always some pruning to do, but so worth it in this drink!You need to start with your simple syrup. Boil 1 cup of water (I do it in the microwave for 3 minutes). Add 1 cup of sugar. Stir and microwave for 1 minute more. Stir again. Tear 25-30 mint leaves into a mason jar. Pour simple syrup into jar. Let steep in refrigerator for an hour. If you are short on time, place in freezer for 30 minutes. Save the extras for the Preakness and Belmont races the next weekends.Now for the good stuff….
For two drinks, pour 5 ounces of your favorite bourbon and 2 ounces of the simple syrup in a shaker. Tear 25-30 more mint leaves into the shaker. Cover and shake 30 times. In two mint julep cups, fill 1/3 of the way with Sonic ice. Strain liquid into julep cups, dividing equally. Fill julep cups to brim with more Sonic ice. Garnish with more mint leaves. Enjoy!Recipe:
For simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
25-30 fresh mint leaves
Boil water and add sugar. Cook1 minute more. Stir. Pour into a Mason jar along with mint leaves. Let steep for about an hour in fridge.
For Mint Julep;
simple syrup (above)
25-30 mint leaves
Mint leaves for garnish
Fill mint julep cup 1/3 way full with Sonic ice. In a cocktail shaker, add 2 ounces syrup, mint leaves, and 5 ounces of bourbon. Shake well. Strain into mint julep cups, dividing equally. Top cups off with more Sonic ice. Garnish with mint leaves.
Are you planning on celebrating the races in a special way?