Despite the 90 degrees heat, I just realized that this upcoming Saturday is the first Saturday in May which means only one thing--it is Kentucky Derby Day and it is time to publish old embarassing pictures of myself again.
It has been a few years since I have hosted a full blown Derby party in DC but this year I still will raise at least one Mint Julep in honor of that 135th Run for the Roses. (Locally U.S. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the drink to Washington, D.C. at the Round Robin Bar in the Willard Hotel during his residence in the city.)
One of the most famous recipes for the perfect Mint Julep comes from Henry Watterson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of The Louisville Courier-Journal, whose recipe for the Julep still speaks to the old-fashioned Kentuckian desire for unblemished bourbon:
“Pluck the mint gently from its bed, just as the dew of the evening is about to form on it. Select the choicer sprigs only, but do not rinse them. Prepare the simple syrup and measure out a half-tumbler of whiskey."
"Pour the whiskey into a well-frosted silver cup, throw the other ingredients away, and drink the whiskey.”
Warning: Mint Juleps may cause Derby Fashion Faux Pas. Here's one from 1991. I still have the shorts. You have been warned!