Going to the Kentucky Derby is on my bucket list! I have always loved horses. I collected toy horses and had my Barbies ride them when I was a child. I glued horse posters to my bedroom walls much to my Dad’s dismay. On my 12th birthday the only thing I wanted to do was ride a horse. My parents took me horseback riding and that’s when I realized how big and impressive horses really are. Honestly, I’ve only been horseback riding maybe a handful of times in my life because I’m an awful rider. I am literally bouncing all over the horse the entire time I’m riding. It practically knocks the wind out of me. I’m actually surprised I’ve never fallen off. I know the horses can tell I’m a horrible rider and that I’m a bit afraid because they always have their ears back and they don’t do anything I want them to do. One day, I am determined to take horseback riding lessons.
When I was younger my Dad took me to the horse races. It was so fun! I loved watching the majestic horses race past the finish line. I also liked watching my Dad cheer on the horse that he bet on and yell “c’mon, you can do it, run faster”! It was so fun to watch him win a bet! My Dad would watch the “big” horse races on TV. One of them being the Kentucky Derby. He would mention a cocktail called Mint Juleps and talk about how good they were. I loved mint. My neighbor had a mint plant growing in their yard and I’d sneak over and eat some of the leaves. Yum!! I wanted a Mint Julep too but alas I was too young. I didn’t realize that Mint Juleps and horse racing were a thing until much later in life.
The 143rd Kentucky Derby is tomorrow. I’m so excited! There will be betting, beautiful hats, cheering and Mint Juleps!! In honor of the Kentucky Derby, I’d like to share the recipe for a Derby Day Mint Julep. These are so easy to make and so yummy to drink. Cheers to Derby Day!
- 5 or 6 mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- 2 ounces of good bourbon
Place 5 or 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a rocks glass. I used an 8 ounce glass. Add 1 tablespoon of Simple Syrup to the glass. If making Simple Syrup, make sure the syrup is cooled down. It shouldn’t be any hotter than barely warm when making this cocktail. Muddle the mint leaves into the Simple Syrup. If you like a less sweet cocktail, use less Simple Syrup.
Next add lots of crushed ice. Make sure to fill the glass all the way to the top with crushed ice.
Pour the bourbon over the crushed ice. You’ll notice how quickly the ice melts. Gently stir the concoction until well melded. Add more ice to the glass if needed then drink up! Cheers!