The Kentbury Kompound will be hosting yet another outdoor (weather-permitting) fete this Saturday, and though it is principally a celebration of roommate Mike Sanders' birthday, it happens to coincide with the Kentucky Derby. No burgoo or hot browns for us -- we'll be enjoying brisket courtesy of Sanders' fancy new smoker instead -- but I'm planning to give Derby Day a nod with some refreshing mint juleps. I've been combing the internets for a good recipe and I'm happy to find that, unlike most things in life, mint juleps come pretty standard.
Recipe: Mint Juleps
Can serve as many people as necessary, depending on how much simple syrup you make and how much bourbon you have -- just keep in mind that each drink gets one tablespoon of the simple syrup, and 16 tablespoons equal a cup. If you make a simple syrup using one cup of sugar and one cup of water (obviously, the sugar dissolves in the water, so you don't end up with a full two cups of syrup), you should have enough for maybe 20 or so servings.
You make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water together for five minutes. Then you stir in some mint leaves (for extra mintiness, grind them in with a wooden spoon) and refrigerate the simple syrup overnight. Before serving, fill each glass with ice, two shots of bourbon (we happen to have some Maker's Mark, but there are definitely cheaper ones out there), and one tablespoon of the minted simple syrup, and stir together. Garnish with extra mint leaves.
So classic, so elegant, so surprisingly economical! I sure hope the weather's nice because I already have in mind the perfect dress to go with my mint julep, ridiculous as that may sound. But, more importantly: Happy Birthday, Sandy!
UPDATE: The party was a great time, and Sanders' brisket was delicious, and we all got a kick out of Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, but it turns out I don't even like mint juleps (even though I do like whiskey) and would advise against following my recipe. Sorry. Make mojitos instead!