May 3, 2017

Mint Juleps for Derby Day

These drinking weekends are coming fast and furious, with the Hunt Cup last weekend and the Kentucky Derby this weekend. 

I am going to a birthday party on Saturday and texted the host to remind him that it was also Derby Day, and we've all watched the race together for the past few years. Should I bring my julep cups and some mint? I knew that he had plenty of bourbon on hand (Maker's Mark is the house brand), but lacked cups. Of course, he replied.

So, I hunted up the julep cups that I now have and began the process of polishing them.

Sad story: my silver cups, one of which I received each year, for a number of years, were stolen right after I moved back to the States, so I just have odd ones from Williams-Sonoma and other places. Unfortunately, Williams-Sonoma is no longer selling the ones I liked.

This year, I actually have enough mint that I can cannibalize my mint plants without worrying that I will kill them. So, julep cups and mint. That's my contribution to the party, because the host said no gifts. 

Here's the recipe, in case you'd like to try it at home: 

Make a simple syrup by boiling two cups of sugar and two cups of water together for five minutes. Cool, and place in a covered container with six or so springs of fresh mint and then refrigerate overnight. Put a few mint leaves and a little bit of sugar in the bottom of a julep cup and muddle the mint and sugar, releasing the essential oils. Fill the cup with crushed ice. My feeling is that the ice that comes out of the fridge is too coarse, and needs to be smaller. Add a tablespoon of the simple syrup and bourbon. Stir to frost the outside of the cup and garnish with a sprig of mint. 


  1. Megtown, just a note. I frequently find things at Sur La Table that Williams Sonoma no longer carries, same brand. Take a look and see if these alloy metal julep cups might be something you'd want to supplement your collection with.

    xo xo
    Amelia Island FL


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