On the Sauce: Kentucky Derby Mint Juleps

CAN YOU SMELL FRESH HORSESHIT from where you’re standing? Oh, that’s powerful.

It’s that Kentucky Derby time of year, and this weekend caps the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival with what’s known as the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” (we don’t need to bicker about the moniker — that’s what they call it over there). The Kentucky Derby is an awesome spectacle to behold. It’s one of the most renowned horse races on the entire planet, and the Churchill Downs event for the Grade I win is a high stakes race, aka the big leagues, aka the real bonanza, aka the one time of the year you can get up out of your seat and holler, “Whoa there, little filly!” and not have to explain yourself.

But it’s not all horsies down in Kentucky. There’s a fair amount of bourbon getting sloshed around. And not just straightup. Hardly, boys. Hardly.

The bourbon is being downed with a little mixture of spearmint and sugar, and it’s traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup.


Guess how many mint juleps will be served at the Derby? About 80,000. No joke. With numbers that high, you gotta figure it’s not just dames sipping the sweet, cool cocktail. The julep ain’t no dainty number: Real men drink juleps, too. Because when it comes to bourbon (or American whiskey), American tradition is American tradition.

In solidarity with my southern neighbor-folk, I resolve to drink nothing but mint juleps all weekend long. I encourage you to jump on my bandwagon. Here’s how.

A mint julep’s got four ingredients, they’re super-easy to remember, and one of them is free:

  1. Mint
  2. Bourbon
  3. Sugar
  4. Water

 Watch this video for the step-by-step:

The Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Think the drink is lame? Then just make one for your lady and scoff back your bourbon from the bottle, already.



Here’s a funny video about horses


Related on The Smoking Jacket:
On the Sauce: Cuba Libres in My Living Room 
Headshots: Thoroughbred Racing, Not Just for Horses