The iconic trumpet blowing at Churchill Downs, race horses perfectly aligned, horse racing fans all hyped up and of course your regular casual spectators ready for the show. It’s picture perfect – across the country virtually everyone will be sipping a classic cocktail they may only drink once a year. So, needless to say, Derby Day means Mint Julep Day!
As Libertine Social partner Tony Abou-Ganim so aptly puts it, Mint Julep is a drink that, “even in Kentucky and in the South, people don’t drink (juleps), except for the Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.” The first chronicled reference of an alcohol-imbued julep in the Americas dates as far back as to 1803.
At the time, it was made with brandy or cognac, and preferred by those who enjoyed a morning refreshment. It was classified as an “eye-opener” and John Davis, who is quoted with the first recorded mention of the drink in 1803, expressed that “It’s a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint in it, taken by Virginians of the morning.”
Although merely having four proper ingredients – bourbon, sugar, water and mint – the julep has traditionally rejoiced in the trappings of indulgence: from the silver cup in which it’s served to the crag of crushed ice that chills it. There is also some hearsay that the modern drinking straw was invented precisely to provide access to every last droplet of alcohol in a julep …how about that for making the most of a drink, huh?!
For those of you trying your hand at concocting juleps at home, 702 ENT has a few helpful pointers you can follow:
- The drink has to be made with crushed or pellet ice.
- It’s recommended to opt for a higher proof bourbon, to stand up against the dilution you get from the crushed ice.
- Since sugar doesn’t dissolve well in ice, using simple syrup made with a 1-to-1 ratio of sugar to water is a better option.
- When muddling the mint, don’t go crazy destroying the leaves, or they’ll turn bitter. You just want to ‘massage’ that mint, and coat the entire inside of the julep cup.
- Mix until the cup begins to frost on the outside, and then add extra crushed ice, to where you almost have a mini mount on the top.
And if you’re not in the mood to whip up your own drink, allow us to give you the best recommendations in the city! We always try to highlight the hottest places to be. So if like us you love a great and refreshing drink and want to book spots in Vegas, then make sure to ask us!
Contact us at 702 ENT, our reliable Concierge Service will gladly recommend the best activities available in the city – whether you’re in the mood for some guilty pleasure or fine dining – we’ve got all the suggestions you need!