In honor of the recent Kentucky Derby (and my dear friend, Col. Trent Stephens, a real live Kentucky Colonel), I decided to make myself a little cocktail. Obviously I chose to go with the signature "Derby drink," a mint julep, but with a girly little twist (of course). So let's get drinking already....here's what you'll need:
- 2 oz of Maker's Mark Bourbon Whisky (1.5 if you're a wimp like me)
- 5 or 6 tablespoons of Simple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons of ginger ale
- 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup of fresh diced pineapple
- about 8 or 9 fresh mint leaves
- about 3/4 cup of crushed ice
Alright. So in order to make this refreshingly delicious and Southern cocktail, you start off by combining your mint leaves, fresh pineapple, and simple syrup (make sure you let it cool for a bit before using it) in the bottom of your glass. Muddle it together (use a wooden spoon if you don't have a muddler), and be sure not to just crush your mint leaves into little bits. The point of muddling is to release all of the flavorful goodness in the ingredients, not to create a leafy pulp. :)
Next pour your crushed ice into the glass-make sure it's enough to fill it up to the top. Then add in your whisky, pineapple juice, and ginger ale, and stir them all together. Do a little taste test-if it's not strong enough for ya, add some more Bourbon in there (that'll put some hair on your chest!). If you're satisfied with the mixture, add in a mint sprig and a pineapple slice for garnish, and you're all finished! Drink that baby up.
I wouldn't normally think that I would like a cocktail made with Bourbon so much since it just seems so strong, but I thought that the flavors in this drink balanced out perfectly. I also didn't actually watch the Derby this year, but the nice thing about it is that the actual race is so short, you don't have to be bored to tears for numerous hours (ahem, every televised sports event...ever). Besides, drink a couple of these and any boring event becomes interesting. Not that I'm advocating alcoholism as a solution for boredom (haha), but we all need a little pick-me-up every now and again...am I right?!
So how about all of you...did anyone actually watch the Derby this year? Drink copious amounts of mint juleps and eat Derby pie? Did you bet on a horse and WIN?! Or maybe just celebrate with a fabulously oversized hat? All of these would be acceptable means of celebration-and I can't wait to hear about them!