Food & Drink

Mint Julep
Image: kyle reutner

The Mint Julep

A classic Kentucky Derby drink

Mint Julep / It’s the Kentucky Derby this weekend, and even if you’re not throwing a Derby party (shame), there’s no reason not to enjoy a Mint Julep, particularly refreshing in this heat.

Here’s a recipe from Imbibe Hawaii, a cocktail catering company owned by Maria Burke and Kyle Reutner.

1. Take a 1/2 tablespoon of water, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and a handful of mint leaves (12-14 leaves, no stems) and lightly muddle together. The key is to release the flavor of the mint without breaking the leaves. If you break the leaves, you release bitter tasting chlorophyll.

2. Fill your lo-ball glass or julep cup with crushed ice. (You can crush ice by wrapping ice in a napkin or towel and hitting with a mallet or muddler.)

3. Add two ounces of bourbon whiskey (recommendation: Maker’s Mark or Evan Williams Ten Year)

4. Stir to incorporate the flavors.

5. Sip and yell at horses.

“Generally speaking, the drink can be too ‘hot’ for people initially,” Reutner says. “This means that there is too much of an alcohol burn. But because the drink is served over crushed ice, it mellows very quickly.”