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Why not invite a little taste of authentic Louisville to your Derby Party this year? Nothing brings out the true Kentucky spirit in everyone on the first Saturday in May like a well-chilled Mint Julep made with a traditional recipe like the one below.
Do you need to serve it in a frosty silver cup like we do here in the Derby City? No, but, trust us it helps. And make sure you have plenty of fresh mint on hand, not just to make the simple syrup, but also so you can bury your nose deep into the garnish with every refreshing sip you take.
But let’s not stop at the long-standing official drink of the Kentucky Derby, either. Remember to have plenty of your favorite Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys on hand to make the “Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” even merrier.
We also recommend giving your guests the thrills and chills of joining in and singing along to “My Old Kentucky Home” with more than 160,000 other fans in attendance just before the race. You’ll find the lyrics to print out and pass around here. And, of course, your guests will love to nibble and dine on the authentic tastes of some of our traditional Kentucky and Southern foods before, during and after the ponies are “Running for the Roses.” There’s a great recipe for one of Louisville’s most popular Pimento Cheese dishes listed below. You can also click here to find even more of our delightful delicacies that make perfect Derby fare.
Make a place in the Winner’s Circle for your Derby Party this Spring. With a Mint Julep in one hand and some savory Pimento Cheese in the other, your guests will be good to go from the opening gate. Enjoy.
The exact origins of the Mint Julep are unknown, but it is said to have originated in the southern United States during the eighteenth century. U.S. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the drink to Washington, D.C., at the Round Robin Bar in the famous Willard Hotel in 1805. It was also the favorite drink of American author William Faulkner. The Mint Julep is best known as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, a position it has held since 1938, with Churchill Downs making over 120,000 for Derby fans each year.
Although there’s been some debate over the best way to prepare the Mint Julep, there’s no doubt that Louisville is still the best place to enjoy one of these refreshing cocktails. And we’re not stingy with our drink recipe. Try it for yourself, and then let some of our best mixologists create one when you visit.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Silver Julep Cups
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one Julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Learn more about the history of the Mint Julep, places to try the Derby City’s famous creation and much more on our Lookin’ at Lou Podcast: http://lou.ly/283
Pimento cheese recipe (courtesy of the Kentucky Derby Museum cookbook)
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 4-ounce jar pimentos, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise