Being raised a Kentucky girl, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity and provide a bit of education regarding the upcoming 137th Kentucky Derby – the greatest two minutes in sports. The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, of which yours truly is a member, provides this wonderful & informational history of the mint julep, drink of choice on May 7th, 2011.
“Julep” is said to be a word meaning “rose water”. Mint Julep is a concoction of bourbon, water, sugar and a sprig of spearmint. The drink is over 200 years old, first referred to in print in the first decade of the 1800’s. The book defined the julep as “A dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.” It is said that Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the mint julep to Washington, DC. and thus it became famously associated with Kentucky and Kentucky Bourbon.
OK, for those holding Derby parties, here’s a recipe. There are several but this is MY favorite: Take two frosted silver mint julep cups. In the first fill with ice and add a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of water. Then, gently crush a couple mint leaves and place in the ice. In the second cup, pour about 3 fingers of a quality Kentucky Bourbon. Now, pour out the mess in the first cup and drink from the second.
Enjoy! -Colonel Saltsman