Friday, April 30, 2010
Five O'Clock Friday: Mint Juleps
This weekend, a very famous Southern tradition will take place. It is the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. (That's a horse race, my friends. Its for 3-year-old thoroughbreds.) Its kind of a big deal.
One tradition that is synonymous with the Derby concerns fashionable hats. This particular event gives ladies (and some men) the excuse to go all out and wear the biggest, most ridiculous looking hats you have ever seen! I love it! Its so British.
Ever since my appearance as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (the mayor's wife in The Music Man) in high school, I have been obsessed with hats. I love them, but don't have the occasion to wear them often. When I was in New Orleans recently, there was a display for a hat shop at the Ritz. I just stood and stared at them for a while. It reminded me of when Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler went on their honeymoon. She had hats like that. (Okay, so maybe my hat fascination dates back to the junior high days when I was completely obsessed with Gone With the Wind.)
Anyway, if I ever go to the Kentucky Derby, then I'm totally spending a whopping load of money at the New Orleans hat shop, Fleur de Paris. I don't care how much it costs. I think it would be completely decadent to have an original hat from a proper shop.
Enough about hats....
That brings me to the actual point of today's post. Another famous Derby tradition concerns booze. More specifically, whiskey. Or bourbon. Or Kentucky whiskey, which is bourbon. I honestly don't know much about booze, so I really don't know the difference. But, whatever-you-call-it-booze is mixed with mint and sugar, and turns into mint julep. This is a very famous Kentucky tradition, or so I hear.
In honor of the Kentucky Derby, which takes place this weekend, let's drink mint juleps and wear hats. I bet it would be fun!
The Early Times Mint Julep Recipe
Taken from the Kentucky Derby website
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups
Directions: 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 Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
The best times are enjoyed responsibly. Early Times Distillery Co., Kentucky Whisky. 40 percent Alc. By Volume. Louisville, KY 2006.
And since I was on the site, I'll post a bonus recipe because 1. I like vodka, and 2. this sounds good!
The Oaks Lily®
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
3 oz. Cranberry Juice
Splash of Triple Sec
Directions: When the ingredients are mixed, place the pinkish cocktail in an official Oaks Lily® glass (stem-less wine glass) with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.
SIDE NOTE: While updating my blog, I realized I haven't posted since last Friday. Its been such a busy week. Don't judge me for posting two boozy recipes in a row. I'll get some food on here soon. Maybe I'll post something special from the grandmother birthday party I'm attending on Saturday!
Happy cooking! Don't drink and drive, and drink responsibly!