A girl like me has really big dreams. Some say they’re over the top. But, one is certain to come to fruition, soon! I daydream about the going to the Kentucky Derby. I mean, really! It’s the quintessential Americana classic high society event that brings forth the fanciest, most refined people, well-clad in high thread count seersucker suits and the most fabulous, eye-catching accessory of all —- the hat.
I’m a fashionista, if you’ve not gathered that. Naturally, I’m addressing the fashion of the famous horse race over at my fashion and beauty blog, “Chronicles of a Hat & Shoe Queen!” So, check it out if you wish.
But for this space, I thought I’d break out of my Latin and even some European style and highlight the top shelf drink all men and hard core ladies will be clutching this weekend at Churchill Grounds. The Mint Julep. A Southern man’s drink. A strong drink. Not my favorite to say the least, but one that earns you social respect and I’m willing to try — again.
A bold and reputable Southern Whiskey (I’ve had Woodford Reserve and walked away quite inebriated; in 5″ heels, no less) is what you need. An easy simple syrup infused with fresh hierba buena or even lavender and some ice and you have your drink.
I’ve perused the ‘net over last few days and I’ve seen some pretty interesting versions, some including minty ice cubes and more enticing — a slushy frozen julep — that, I think I could do before and after this weekend.
I spent some time yesterday playing around with different recipes, trying to get the right intensity for my weak palate. I finally resigned to the reality that I’m a weakling. I can’t handle it! Well, not an entire glass. Unless of course, I’m okay with my hat being thrown up and away. But, even with all the simple syrup in the pretty silver tumbler (yes, for the sake of keeping it somewhat classic and traditional, though mine is a pewter Smirnoff brand one), I couldn’t sip more than 4 times.
My final creation was quite tasty indeed and strong enough for a certain man that comes to mind. I ended up taking it for the team and and finished mine with some friends. I just made mine a tad bit sweeter. Weakling, right?!
Whether you’re into donning a showstopper topper, like this one, you’ll want to make this your drink of choice this weekend. If for nothing else, at least to remotely partake in the festivities.
Go Creative Cause!! (long story to be told later!)
Check out my Instagram shot of the set up…
CLASSIC MINT JULEP
- 5 oz. Whiskey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- simple syrup*
- 4 sprigs mint, divided
Make simple syrup.* In medium saucepan, add water, sugar, and leaves from two mint sprigs and bring to boil, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and chill for thirty minutes to one hour. Add crushed ice to tall glass. Pour Whiskey and about 1/4 cup simple syrup into glass. Stir well with mixing spoon. Pour into two chilled glasses. Garnish each with mint.
Yields 2 juleps