In 2014, I went to my first Kentucky Derby. No, unfortunately it was not in the millionaires club or as a guest, I was working. But hey, I got a free front row seat (I was literally sitting in the dirt with a DSLR, photo below) and was in the winners circle when California Chrome came walking in $2,000,000 richer. So not too shabby.
Where I am going with this is that when I was there, there were mint juleps everywhere. I was working, so I couldn't try one, but they were also being poured directly from a bottle. No real mint. So I wondered, what does this actually taste like? Well, when I got back to NY I decided I would try one and boy oh boy, I can see why they like them in Kentucky. Its a stiff drink that has an extremely floral finish and a beautifully delicate layer of mint that lingers after every sip.
I can't stress enough the crushed ice here folks. It really makes the drink special. We can work around it if you don't have it, but it makes a huge difference. Anyways, start by muddling the mint using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon and place in your intended glass. By the way, here's my seat at the 2014 Kentucky Derby...
Add in your sugar and about 1/2 oz of bourbon, just to get the sugar mixed in. If you have simple syrup you don't need to add the bourbon in just yet, but it won't hurt.
Fill the cup you plan on serving the drink in full of crushed ice (to the point where it makes an almost snow-cone like shape) and top of with the remaining 2oz bourbon. Notice how the ice keeps the mint leaves from getting in your mouth? That is why its so crucial. If you don't have the crushed ice, just eat the mint as you drink it- you'll be fine :) Our drink here, well, we ran out of ice so don't judge us... it was still fantastic! Our site is about sharing great recipes, not necessarily perfecting each photo. So have 2-3 of these drinks and this photo will look amazing!