Planning a Derby party

By Nancy Cook |

Published 05/02 2014 05:37PM

Updated 05/02 2014 08:15PM

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   Have your own Derby Party at home - the action starts at 3 pm, Saturday on NBC 6


Mint Julep: A step-by-step way to make the Derby Drink

 Nancy's Mint Julep recipe with comments

  • 4-5 mint leaves

  • 1/2 ounces simple syrup*

  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon (the better the bourbon, the better the julep)
  • Crushed Ice**
  • Mint sprig for garnish


  1. Place the mint and simple syrup into a julep cup – or highball glass
  2. Muddle*** well to release the oil and aroma of the mint
  3. Add the bourbon.
  4. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir until the cup or glass becomes frosty.
  5. Garnish with the mint sprig.

 *Make your own simple syrup by adding two parts sugar to one part water. Bring water to a boil, add sugar, stirring constantly. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool five minutes. Then pour in jar for use in making cocktails.

**Crushed ice is not an elective here. It’s mandatory. Nothing else will suffice. if you don’t have a blender, fill up an old sock (preferably clean) with ice and slam it on the driveway.

***a muddler is a pestle-shaped tool with a rounded bottom used to mash ingredients such as herbs or mint. I have no idea what one could use in place of a muddler, because I grew up in a house where we might lose the silverware or china, but we always knew where the bar supplies were stowed.  

NOTE: Be careful to mash, not chop, the mint. It probably goes without saying that there’s little more unattractive on Derby Day than a beautiful lady wearing a fabulous hat and holding her mint julep to break into a large smile, only to reveal there’s a tiny bit of a green mint leave stuck between her front teeth. The lady will forever be remembered as the woman with the green mint leaf stuck in her teeth, but it is you who made the cocktail who is responsible.  

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