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Thread: Mint Julep

  1. #21

    The $1000 Mint Julep

    At least this is for chaity, so as the wealthy conspicuous consumers spend their cash, it's going to a good cause.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - As if custom-made hats, premium box seats and limo rides weren't enough, the Kentucky Derby will now feature the $1,000 mint julep.

    Sip this drink slowly.


    The sweet cocktail will be made with one of the state's finest bourbons and served in a gold-plated cup with a silver straw to the first 50 people willing to put down the cash at the May 6 race.

    Mint from Morocco, ice from the Arctic Circle and sugar from the South Pacific will put this mint julep in a class of its own, the distillery selling the drink said.

    "We thought we would reflect on and complement the international nature of the Kentucky Derby,'' said Chris Morris, master distiller for Woodford Reserve. The distillery, owned by Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp., will sell the drink only on race day to raise money for a charity for retired race horses.

    The company already sells about 90,000 mint juleps at the Derby each year but hopes what's being dubbed the "ultimate'' mint julep will catch on. Those who buy the $1,000 cocktail will get to watch Morris and others make it.

    "People want a memory,'' said Wayne Rose, Woodford Reserve's brand director. "This is something they can take home and share with friends.''

    Mint juleps have been synonymous with the Kentucky Derby for decades. They are often served in silver or pewter cups and are meant to be sipped and savored.

    The new 24-karat gold cup promotion fits in with the high-class atmosphere, said Gary Regan, a spirit and cocktail expert who's been to the Derby twice.

    "I think there will be enough people with enough money at the Kentucky Derby that will go for that sort of thing,'' said Regan, author of "The Joy of Mixology.''

    Churchill Downs officials said the expensive mint juleps will help raise awareness about the needs of retired thoroughbreds.

    "A concern has developed over time that these horses were finding their way to be sold for slaughter,'' track spokeswoman Julie Koenig said.

    Churchill Downs will funnel money from the pricey juleps to the New Jersey-based Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides homes for the former race horses.

    "These horses are there making these memories special to us,'' Kornig said. "It's nice to find a way to give back to them.''

  2. #22
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    Tonight, I prepared my first mint julep. It was done partially in the way that's explained on Early Times website, partially as on Jim Beam website. I didn't boil the sugared water (ET recommends boiling), but I used Early Times bourbon. Here are the steps I followed:
    1. Mix 2,50 glasses of water and 3/4 glass of sugar in a bowl and stir with a spoon,
    2. Add a handful of fresh mint leaves to this solution and gently crush these leaves with a spoon,
    3. Leave this mixture in the refrigirator for 45 min.,
    4. Take the mixture back and throw away the leaves. Now, the syrup is ready.
    5. Crush 3-4 fresh mint leaves at the bottom of a glass (I used a "rocks" glass i.e. tumbler),
    6. Add four tablespoons of crushed ice in the glass-I prepared this crushed ice by using a blender
    7. Add 2 ounces of bourbon (I used Early Times bourbon), two ounces of syrup, garnish with a fresh mint leaf. I also added an ice cube.

    Well, it looked fine, was delicious and nice to drink But maybe I should add a bit less syrup next time, since it became much diluted as the ice melted. Now, I'll be very happy if I can get your comments about the proportions for my syrup and the julep as a whole. If only I could serve this for you for a test! My first mint julep

    By the way, the reason for my Early Times choice is that they claim to produce the ET Mint Julep as the official drink of Kentucky Derby, and I wanted to start with this one to have an idea about if it was really that much good for me, too. I'll try with other bourbons to make comparisions.

  3. #23
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    Yes...its starting to be Julep season!

    Here's what I found makes a great Mint Julep: I do think its important to boil the sugar and water until the water dissolves. AND the 1 to 1 ratio sugar/water is also essential. You dont want your julep too sweet.

    At the point of the sugar dissolving, I put in a bit handful of Mint. Right in the cooling simple syrup...cover...and into the refrigerator overnite.

    The next morning, strain off the mint and you have a very nice mint infused mint syrup.

    If you like bourbon like we all do, use about a 3 to 1 or better, 4 to 1 bourbon to syrup ratio. The bourbon I use is at least 86 proof, and no more than 100. (altho, a Wild Turkey 101 julep I've had, is great!)

    If Im serving a lot of juleps at a party, I'd put that ratio into a 1.75 liter bourbon bottle. Shake it up a little then pour over crushed ice....about 2 to 3 ounces.

    This, for me, makes perfect juleps everytime....enjoy!
    Last edited by BourbonBalls; 04-16-2006 at 07:49.

  4. #24
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    Thank you. But, I have two questions:

    1. I always feel as if it would be a too sweet syrup with the 1 to 1 sugar to water ratio. I think you adjust the taste by adding more bourbon to the same amount of syrup than me. Am I right?
    2. Why is boiling the syrup important?

    BTW, I liked this julep drink very much, indeed. For this summer, I've got sth. different to serve

  5. #25
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    1- I'm not sure about this one, at least regarding mint juleps. I make my syrup strong, to give me more control over the amount of water in my cocktails. By strong, I mean 2:1 sugar to water, which seems standard for recipes I've seen.

    2- The syrup turns transparent when it boils, so you don't make foggy cocktails.
    -Sam

  6. #26
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    Cool

    The last good mint julep I enjoyed was on an afternoon in October of very pleasant mild temperature on a Louisiana sugar cane plantation. One knows when one has had a very good mint julep when one does not recollect how good or bad the second, third and fourth ones were.
    "All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than it has taken out of me".....Winston Churchill

  7. #27
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    The last really good mint julep I had was many years ago at Commanders Palace in New Orleans. It was livingly hand-made by a bartender who had (obviously ) many years of experience. Perhaps it was the company of the friends present, but it was an experience that has never been duplicated since.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  8. #28
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    Regarding the sugar/water ratio:

    What you are making in cooking terms is called a "simple syrup". The classic simple syrup is always a one to one ratio of sugar to water. The water should be boiled for two reasons: to fully melt and make the sugar and water a single liquid with no sugar granuals remaining, and to fully infuse and integrate the mint. The overnite refrigeration seals the deal on that.

    You;re right...you adjust the sweetness of the Julep by adding more or less bourbon...not adding more or less sugar to the syrup. Remember, the syrup enhances the beautiful bourbon! Its a bourbon-first, drink afterall. Your really want to taste the bourbon.

    What you want to end up with is a true mint syrup not just a hint of a mint, but a totally other concoction away from the mint, water, and sugar.

    It's just the basis of good cooking!
    Last edited by BourbonBalls; 04-18-2006 at 13:25.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonBalls
    Regarding the sugar/water ratio:

    What you are making in cooking terms is called a "simple syrup". The classic simple syrup is always a one to one ratio of sugar to water. The water should be boiled for two reasons: to fully melt and make the sugar and water a single liquid with no sugar granuals remaining, and to fully infuse and integrate the mint. The overnite refrigeration seals the deal on that.

    You;re right...you adjust the sweetness of the Julep by adding more or less bourbon...not adding more or less sugar to the syrup. Remember, the syrup enhances the beautiful bourbon! Its a bourbon-first, drink afterall. Your really want to taste the bourbon.

    What you want to end up with is a true mint syrup not just a hint of a mint, but a totally other concoction away from the mint, water, and sugar.

    It's just the basis of good cooking!
    Ah, you beat me to it, I was going to throw down my knowledge gained from the cooking channel on the simple syrup.

    And now all this reading has me convinced that I need to make a Julep, I had a taste of a mojito (sp?) a while back and loved the mint flavor, so a bourbon based minty cocktail has to be amazing! I have never been much for adding pollution to my alcohol in case you're wondering to yourself "he's never had a mint julep?!?!"

    Question: Has anyone ever mad a George T Stagg mint Julep? Does better bourbon make a better julep? Or do you reach a point of diminishing returns where, say, WT101 (or RR) is good enough?
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  10. #30
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    The sweetness and mint are strong enough in a mint julep that I wouldn't use something REALLY nice in it, but you do want a good flavorful bourbon, imo. I'd go with OGD or WT 101, something with a spicy rye kick to it, which cuts nicely through the sugar and mint. A Stagg mint julep would certainly get its point across, though.
    -Sam

 

 

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