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Mint Juleps

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish

Glass

Mint Juleps Glass

Preparation instructions:

  1. Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves
  2. Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person's sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter.

Original recipe makes 8 servings

The history of Mint Julep

The Mint Julep carries a long and winding path to its active incarnation. The term julep derives from the Arabic terms, julab and Golab, which stand for "rose water". This early julep described a sweet therapeutic drink. As the beverage migrated to the Mediterranean, mint was brought to the drink. A non-alcoholic version of the mint julep emerged in 1400s England. Somewhere in the 1700s whiskey, rum, gin, and brandy begun making an appearance in juleps. Both Kentucky and Virginia appear to have been the birthplaces of the proto - Mint Julep , because it was the beverage of choice in both places in the late 1700s.

In 1803, Londoner John Davis talked about the Mint Julep in paper for the very first time. A decade after that, the Old White Tavern in West Virginia (today the Greenbrier Resort) grew to become popular for their very own Mint Julep recipe. Throughout the Civil War, bourbon became a standard replacement for other liquors in the Mint Julep, because of its much lower cost.

Churchill Downs has been making the mint julep from 1875, however it was in 1938 that the iconic beverage ended up being arelated to the Kentucky Derby. The racetrack started promoting the silver souvenir cups for 25 cents extra, because a lot of people were stealing them. Nowadays, Churchill Downs sells about 120,000 mint juleps on Derby Weekend (Oaks Day and Derby Day) only.