Celebrate Derby Day (or any day!) with this refreshing, traditional cocktail. If you can't be at Churchill Downs today, then at least this cocktail will make you feel like you are. Be sure to make it with true bourbon, which is only produced in Kentucky. I have recommended two great choices below. Enjoy!
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
about 10-15 fresh mint sprigs
Bourbon (recommended: Makers Mark or Woodford Reserve)
In a small sauce pan, boil together water and sugar for 2-3 minutes to make a "simple syrup." Pour into a container and add the mint leaves from 10 of your mint sprigs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Then use a strainer or a slotted spoon to fish your used mint leaves out of the mint syrup.
To make a mint julep, put your crushed iced in a small glass. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mint syrup and then pour 2 ounces of bourbon over the top. Stir gently, and garnish with your extra mint leaves. Serve immediately.
You can store your mint syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. One recipe yeilds about 20ish mint juleps.