Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's Kentucky Derby Time

Ahh, there is nothing in sports that compares to the run for the roses. I mean it's not just a sporting event it's a tradition, deeply rooted in Kentucky history. Everyone in my family has a story to tell about their first experience at Churchill Downs. I think everyone has even been to the Derby, well not me, but really I'm not whining or anything. Picture this: It's a sunny day at the track and the crowd begins to gather. Ladies are decked out in wide brimmed hats, men are wearing ties, and children are in their Sunday best. The colorful silk of the jockeys flutter in the wind as the call to "Mount up" echos throughout the stall as beautiful sleek thoroughbreds snort and stomp in anticipation. The band begins to play and the entire crowd joins in and the racetrack is filled with the strains of "My Old Kentucky Home". It's an anthem of sorts for anybody with any ties to the bluegrass state. The bugle sounds and they are's only two minutes but your knuckles turn white as you clutch your hands together rooting for your favorite horse. Yep, it definitely beats the Superbowl or the Master's, of course that is just my opinion! Anyway, there are so many traditions surrounding this day, but I'll leave you with one and that is the sipping of the mint julep. The English have their tea and us Kentucky folks have our Mint Juleps!

Here's the recipe

Early Times Mint Julep
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

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