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Kentucky Derby 2011 Mint Julep

Mint Julep

Tomorrow the Kentucky Derby will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s one of the most popular moments in sports. Coverage of the race will begin at 5pm EST on NBC tomorrow, May 7, with the race set to start at approximately 6:24pm EST. I remember watching an incredible two minute horse on television for as long as I can remember, and I’ll be watching it with my family tomorrow. It’s a must-see event. The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sports event in America, and is also very important because it’s the first race of the annual United States Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is when a horse wins this race as well as the Preakness Stakes in Maryland, and then the Belmont Stakes in New York. A horse hasn’t won all three of these races since 1978, and only 11 horses have ever done this in history.

This race isn’t just about the horses though, it’s also about fashion, beautiful hats, and mint juleps. It’s estimated that over 120,000 mint juleps will be served at the race.  To celebrate this amazing race, I’ll be making mint juleps in the comfort of my own home, while wearing my cute little floppy sun hat.  The mint julep recipe is highly debated, but I like this recipe the best because it’s the simplest.

To learn more about the horses and their owners entered in this year’s race, visit the official Kentucky Derby site here.

Mint Julep Recipe

Ingredients
10 mint leaves
1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 oz Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon, or other bourbon
crushed ice
1 oz, or more, water to taste

Method

1. Add mint leaves to glass and muddle or crush with a muddler, a mortar, or just a spoon. Gently bruise leaves to extract mint flavor. Add sugar and bourbon. Stir to combine. Add crushed ice and water to taste.

2. Stir and serve garnished with a mint sprig in your finest glasses or a silver cup, if you have one. (Mint juleps are traditionally served in silver cups, but I used my [only] Waterford crystal, snagged at an estate sale for just such an event)

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