Our resident drinkies columnist prepares a Mint Julep for the Kentucky Derby…
Not an easy one this, but worth the effort. Don’t on any account ask for one down the Dog and Duck, as a punch in the mouth often offends. This is the ultimate cocktail of America’s Deep South and is as integral a part of racing culture as the Kentucky Derby, Ladies Day at Ascot, or the Barfly’s Yankee bet going down the pan in the 4.50 at Kempton Park. Goldfinger serves one to Connery’s Bond near the end of his titular movie, too. It dates back to at least the early 19th Century, and is a fabulous cocktail but be warned: it tales LOTS of advance planning.
2 fresh mint leaves
2 1/2 shots Bourbon
3/4 shot sugar syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Method: Muddy (that’s lightly bruise) the mint leaves (NB lose the stems, they’re very bitter) and bourbon in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Place in the fridge for AT LEAST two hours. Half fill a chilled glass with crushed ice. Shake sugar and bitters with the bourbon and mint with ice and strain into glass. Churn with a bar spoon, top up with more crushed ice and serve with a long straw.
Glass: Collins (That, mein host, is the tall one)
Garnish: Sprig of mint and slice of lemon.
The Guv’nor adds: “It’s the Kentucky Derby this Saturday – with our very own Ascot coming up hard on the rails. Come and see us in our Essentials Shop at 36 Church Street, or click the hat below…”